Article Text

Lowland sheep: the nutrition and management cycle
  1. AW Speedy and
  2. CF Clark

Abstract

Good management of lowland sheep depends on strategic uses of resources during the management cycle and manipulation of body reserves. Critical periods are around mating, late pregnancy and early lactation. Good condition at mating is achieved by expanding the grazing area apportioned to the ewes in autumn. Thereafter, ewes are restricted to allow the resting of pasture for spring growth. A feeding plan for late pregnancy is given which takes account of body condition score and expected lambing date. The recommended concentrate ration contains a proportion of undegradable protein which is fed until grass growth can support lactation. Nutrition in later lactation is not limiting provided fertiliser nitrogen is applied regularly at a level related to stocking rate. By integration with other enterprises (cattle and crops), efficient use of resources is achieved.

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