Dr. Andrew Weaver, North Carolina State University, Small Ruminant Specialist
Ewes are bred, the holidays are just around the corner, and for all of us with winter lambing flocks, lambing season is almost here. Over the last year, we have invested in high quality genetics to move our flocks forward and now it’s important that we make sure our next generation of lambs get off to the right start. This begins with good late gestation management.
I have summarized nutritional requirements in Table 1 (think of this as nutrient demand by the animal). Requirements for energy (as indicated by total digestible nutrients) and protein increase substantially for late gestation and lactation compared to maintenance. Two-thirds of fetal development take place during late gestation. Additionally, ewes should be gaining body condition to prepare for lactation with a goal of BCS 3.5-4 at the time of lambing. Therefore, nutrients demands are high.
|Table 1. Nutrient Requirements (Demand) at Different Stages of Production|
|150 lb. ewe raising twins||Dry Matter Intake (lb./d)||Total Digestible Nutrients (lb./d)||Crude Protein (lb./d)|