Farmer Info

Dairy Sheep Nutrition

Fulfill Their Potential

You only get out what you put in. Investing in your livestock’s nutrition is important for overall production yields. Young stock must be grown to full potential if lifetime milk production is to reach genetic potential. For ideal performance, hogget mating weight should be around 50kg and ewes should lamb in condition score of 3 or higher.

GOOD FEED = HIGH MILK YIELDS

Benefits of In-Shed Feeding

Giving your ewes a tasty treat in the milking shed is an excellent way to boost their nutrition.

Three reasons why we recommend in-shed feeding:

  1. It attracts ewes to the shed and encourages them onto the platform
  2. Relaxes ewes during milking which encourages milk let down
  3. Provides the opportunity to balance their diet

Types of in-shed feed include whole barley, whole maize, or specially formulated sheep pellets.

Grazing Management

Quality feed is needed for both growing young stock and lactating ewes. Rotating crops can help you provide optimum nutrition to your livestock all year round. We recommend ryegrass/clover, lucerne, plantain, and chicory.

Lucerne is ideally suited to dairy sheep as it:

  • can be grazed for most or all of the lactation,
  • is ideal for growing young stock,
  • provides high quality palatable feed during mid-late lactation when grasses have gone into reproductive mode,
  • is suitable for conservation as silage,
  • is a good option during facial eczema challenge periods when it is important to get the animals off the ryegrass.

Ryegrass/clover, plantain and chicory also offer the potential for high quality feed when pasture is not at its best, but these crops are not suitable for conservation. They do however provide an alternative to grass during facial eczema challenges.

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