Feeding ewes after lambing

by Jill Hunter, Harbro Beef & Sheep Nutritionist

Ater lambing, it’s essential to continue feeding ewes for a few reasons:

  • A ewe rearing twin lambs is working proportionally as hard as a high yielding dairy cow. Her demand for energy and protein is huge and it’s unlikely grass alone will meet this demand
  • Milk quantity is influenced by energy and in particular, starch availability
  • Mastitis can be a concern if lambs constantly suckle as they may cause udder damage and allow infection/cold weather to take hold
  • We also want her to repair from lambing and not drop body condition too quickly
  • A ewe’s nutrition plane 4-6 weeks post-lambing influences how many lambs she’ll have next year!

There are many options for providing feed post lambing, and it may be convenient to continue offering the feed the ewe has been given pre-lambing for consistency. Another labour saving option and one that helps reduce the chances of mis-mothering is to put feed blocks out.

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