With early lambing ewes approaching lambing and field conditions getting muddy, some are looking to start housing post Christmas. Housing these sheep does offer benefits to the ground but remember the longer the housing period, the greater potential for disease build up e.g. lameness.
When housing ewes, group them accordingly. This may be by feeding requirements e.g. body condition score, age or scanning result. Younger ewes should be grouped together, to reduce competition for feeding from older more dominant sheep.
The housing space should also be taken in to consideration, with the following allowances,
|Area on Straw
|Large ewe in-lamb (60-90 kg)
|1.2 - 1.4
|Small ewe in-lamb (45-60kg)
|1.0 - 1.3
Winter shorn ewes reduce lying area by 10%
Feeding space should allow for 15cm for ad lib forage space and 50cm (45cm small ewe) of trough space for concentrates.
Take time now to plan for housing and ensure the space requirements are adequate and the set up allows for having various management groups.
Kirsten Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
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