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Care Post Tupping For Minimum Embryonic Loss

21 November 2016

bf-hillhouseA vast amount of work goes into preparing ewes and rams for tupping.  From when the tup is turned out until 40-42 days of pregnancy when the embryo implants is a high risk stage where embryonic losses occur.  A 5% lower embryonic loss in a 100 ewe flock would result in 5 more lambs, potentially £350.00 if valued at £70.  Over 1,000 ewes = £3,500.00

A five point plan to reducing embryonic losses in sheep:


  • Rather than reducing stress eliminate stress.
  • If moving sheep to fresh grass do so without dogs and open the gate and let them find it themselves.
  • Chose fields that have natural shelter as heat and cold weather stress can result in embryonic losses./li>


  • No flock treatments, if treatments are required do so on an individual basis.  Try and steer the individual out from the field if she is near a gate rather than herding all sheep.
  • If changing tup keel, try and tempt him with some concentrate feeding or have a pen area set up to avoid disturbance in the field.


  • In early pregnancy the body is growing a foetus and a placenta.  Undernutrition can have an effect to this which can result in embryonic losses.
  • Avoid overfeeding fat ewes.
  • Use free access mineral licks or blocks, do not bolus for trace elements after the tup is introduced.


  • Grass below 6cm may need supplementation, if required use a low disturbance method e.g. buckets
  • Avoid red clover


  • At tupping a lowland ewe should be in body condition score 3.5, this should be maintained for the first month, after this approximately half a condition can be lost to mid pregnancy.

Kirsten Williams,


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