Feeding Ewes Early Pregnancy - Setting up for winter

If ewes are in optimal condition, once passed the 1st cycle of mating, they do not need to continue to be gaining weight. But are they in optimal condition? With feed quality generally being poorer and less abundant this autumn, ewe condition may need attention sooner rather than later.

Body condition scoring and feed budgeting is the way to take the guess-work out of this subject. I expect more ewes may not have achieved optimum BCS 3 this mating and it will be interesting to see how this effects ovulation rates this year.

If there are lighter BCS ewes then taking them out early makes it possible to “re-build” condition from now to the point of lambing. Adding BCS to light twin ewes after scanning and shearing is hard to do with the bigger foetus taking a greater part of reserves.

There is a need for astute feed planning this year. This comes in many forums. From measuring pasture cover and grass growth rates to measuring crops and testing the dry matter and energy content of baleage. The Veterinary Centre can assist with this process. Just bring in a recyclable bag full of feed to test.