The four main ways that you can change animal requirements and better match feed demand with feed supply are:

  • Overall farm stocking rate – consider regional benchmarks for stocking rates or seek advice from local advisors on what is a realistic overall stocking rate for your farm and locality given the pasture species, soil types and soil fertility.
  • Time of lambing – during pregnancy, feed requirements of ewes’ doubles. At 30 days lactation, energy requirements of ewes rearing twin lambs are over 3 times that of dry ewes. Match mid-lactation with peak pasture growth to better match feed supply and demand.
  • Time of sale – when surplus stock are sold can markedly effect feed demand. For example, sale of cast for age ewes prior to summer-autumn. Lamb or wether sales can be varied depending on seasonal conditions.
  • Reproductive rate – when making breeding and selection decisions to improve the reproductive performance of your flock and having a higher twinning percentage can be a way of using peaks in spring feed supply. Feed demand of ewes rearing twins is 25% higher than for those with single lambs.