Managing ewes for joining
Setting the time of joining for lambing is an important on-farm management decision. Where practical, aim to lamb about three to four months before the end of the growing season for a Merino enterprise. In a prime lamb enterprise, a decision based on the most profitable compromise between ewes joined per hectare, the likely reproduction rate and market price must be made.
Managing ewes in late pregnancy
Ewe condition in late pregnancy has a major influence on the growth of the foetus which has a significant impact on birth weight and therefore survival. There are substantial penalties for not having ewes in good condition by lambing. Ewes that are below optimal condition at lambing may have a significant cost on the sheep enterprise through decreased lamb survival and progeny production. In wool flocks, poor ewe nutrition in late pregnancy influences secondary wool follicle development which directly influences the density and fineness of the fleece of the progeny.
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Sheep CRC Practical Wisdom Notes is a series of technical notes to assist sheep producers to make sound decisions about technology and practices and then to have the know-how to implement their decisions.
This guide is provided to help you understand the complexities of breeding profitable yet functional sheep that are right for your business.