Lamb survival is a major factor in determining the number of lambs reared and so the financial performance of any sheep enterprise. Flock management and nutrition has a significant impact however, there is also a genetic factor to lamb survival making it possible to breed for improved lamb survival. Lambing ease, lamb vigour, lamb birth weight and ewe maternal ability all have a significant influence on lamb survival – selecting for these heritable traits will reduce mortality. These traits also have a significant impact on labour requirements. With less strain on the workforce at lambing, more lives can be saved, and there is opportunity to potentially reduce labour costs.
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