AGRICULTURAL NEWS - The rounding off of lambs is dependent on genetics, feeding, processing and weather, but above all, management. So says Kenneth Hamlett, technical adviser at Tau Mills, based in Leeudoringstad, North West.
“With 80% of lamb performance based on a farmer’s management and only 20% on feeding, there’s a lot a farmer can do to ensure optimal growth,” he says.
Begin before lambing
“A lamb’s life actually begins four to six weeks before it is born. About 80% of foetal development occurs during this phase, so it’s crucial to pay special attention to a ewe’s feed requirements then,” says Hamlett.
As the foetus grows larger, the ewe’s rumen capacity decreases. Contrary to what many believe, smaller rumen capacity does not mean that a ewe should be fed less. In fact, the farmer has to feed a ewe more concentrated feed during the final stages of pregnancy.
“Concentrated feed is utilised better. One also needs to provide good roughage, such as lucerne, at this stage, and a good bypass protein,” he says.