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Determine feed requirements for sheep classes

Georgia January 25, 2022

Most sheep producers run a range of sheep classes on the farm, and these classes will have different nutritional needs throughout the year. Describe your classes of sheep according to:

  • Sex
  • Condition score, fat score and liveweight
  • Stage in reproductive cycle and pregnancy status (empty, single, twin)
  • Growth target (to gain or lose weight at x kg/day).

Scanning and separating ewes based on condition score and pregnancy/lambing status enables better allocation of paddocks to sheep. It is more efficient to run 3-5 year old ewes together and draft on ewe condition and pregnancy status than age groups. Suggested drafting for these mature ewes are:

  • Dry ewes
  • Pregnant or lactating ewes, single lambs, condition score >3
  • Pregnant or lactating ewes, single lambs, condition score <3
  • Pregnant or lactating ewes, twin lambs, condition score >3
  • Pregnant or lactating ewes, twin lambs, condition score <3

Weaners and lactating ewes rearing twin lambs should get the best pastures, followed by single lambing ewes, pregnant ewes, hoggets, then wethers and dry ewes.