"Over 50 years of
quality value
and service"

Rumenco livestock feeds - Rumevite, Lifeline, SUPAlyx, Beetlic

Importance of nutrition in the final trimester

Ensuring dietary intakes match ewe nutritional requirements is a priority in the final trimester to ensure every chance of a successful lambing.

David Thornton, Rumenco technical manager explains that 70 to 80% of foetal growth occurs within the final six weeks of pregnancy. “Providing extra nutrition at this time is when the ewe needs it most to ensure rapidly expanding foetuses don’t draw too much on the ewes reserves,” he says.

Energy is the key dietary component at lambing time to help maintain condition and support the ewes metabolic processes. But, as Mr Thornton explains, adequate amounts of energy may not be available in concentrates or forage alone.

“Feeding little and often is best at this time as there is little capacity for bulky feeds in the stomach.
“I’d therefore recommend supplementing ewes with a high-energy bucket fortified with vitamins and minerals, such Lifeline Lamb and Ewe, to ensure ewes receive a balanced diet which will help maintain condition during this crucial time.

“In addition to providing 13 MJ of ME per kg DM, Lifeline Lamb and Ewe is also formulated to include 12% natural protein,” adds Mr Thornton.

Secondary to energy, protein is another vital constituent of the ewes’ diet in the final stages of pregnancy. “The protein available in this bucket lick is digestible undegradable protein (DUP), which is the right type of protein for the ewe at this stage in order to ensure milk let-down.

“As a result, the available protein will also ensure the ewe can produce a quality source of colostrum, available to the lamb as soon as it’s born.”

Research carried out on 200 late lambing lowland crossbred ewes at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has proven that supplementing ewes with Lifeline Lamb and Ewe increased the level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the colostrum by 25%, compared to ewes supplemented with a standard high-energy bucket lick.

Mr Thornton says, “The positive results of the trial are a result of the whole nutritional package that Lifeline Lamb and Ewe provides.

“IgG is the immune protein that is responsible for the passive immunity passed onto lambs, and so colostrum that supplies lambs with a higher available intake of IgG will ultimately benefit lamb health and vigour, and reduce labour time required to deal with unthrifty lambs,” says Mr Thornton.