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Feeding Ewes.
Feeding Ewes.

Breeding Ewes Feeding Considerations

Feeding considerations for breeding ewes:

feeding ewes
feeding ewes

1. Reducing over fattening of ewes:

  • Over-fattening will result in excessive fat deposition resulting in reduced fertility
  • A good shepherd should watch for over-fattening at least one and a half to two months before the onset of breeding season.
  • The over-fat ewes may be gradually brought down to the desirable lean condition, by reducing the ration and by exercising.
  • The farmer should constantly check and keep the ewes in condition for flushing by mild reduction in feed and providing exercise. .

2.Flushing ewes

  • About 2 to 3 weeks before the onset of the breeding season, nutrition of ewes should be stepped up to promote their body weight.
  • This practice will bring ewes into heat earlier in the season thereby giving early lambs.
  • It also has the effect of bringing the ewes into heat a more nearly the same time, resulting in a more uniform lamb crop.
  • Besides, flushing also increases the lambing rate and incidence of multiple births in the flock.
  • This period is usually during the latter half of May in India.
  • Different flushing rations are furnished below and any one method can be followed depending upon the availability of feed resources.

3.Suggested flushing rations

  • A good mixed pasture of legumes and grasses,
  • A grass pasture plus 150 g of wheat bran per head per day,
  • Grass pasture plus 250 g of grains and 450 g of oil cakes,
  • Legume hay full fed plus 100 g of wheat bran and 150 to 200 g of grain and
  • Green fodder at the rate of 10 per cent of body weight and 150-200 g of concentrate per head per day.
ewes feeding
ewes feeding

4.Concentrate feed ingredients for sheep and goats

  • Sorghum
  • Maize
  • Broken rice
  • Jowar
  • Soya bean cake
  • Groundnut cake

5.Reducing over fattening of ewes

  • Over-fattening will result in excessive fat deposition resulting in reduced fertility.
  • A good shepherd should watch for over-fattening at least one and a half to two months before the onset of breeding season.
  • The over-fat ewes may be gradually brought down to the desirable lean condition, by reducing the ration and by exercising.
  • The farmer should constantly check and keep the ewes in condition for flushing by mild reduction in feed and providing exercise.

6.Flushing ewes

  • About 2 to 3 weeks before the onset of the breeding season, nutrition of ewes should be stepped up to promote their body weight.
  • This practice will bring ewes into heat earlier in the season thereby giving early lambs.
  • It also has the effect of bringing the ewes into heat a more nearly the same time, resulting in a more uniform lamb crop.
  • Besides, flushing also increases the lambing rate and incidence of multiple births in the flock.
  • This period is usually during the latter half of May in India.
  • Different flushing rations are furnished below and any one method can be followed depending upon the availability of feed resources.

7.Suggested flushing rations

  • A good mixed pasture of legumes and grasses,
  • A grass pasture plus 150 g of wheat bran per head per day,
  • Grass pasture plus 250 g of grains and 450 g of oil cakes,
  • Legume hay full fed plus 100 g of wheat bran and 150 to 200 g of grain and
  • Green fodder at the rate of 10 per cent of body weight and 150-200 g of concentrate per head per day.

8. Feeding ewes during early and mid-pregnancy

  • Good feeding during gestation is the keystone for a healthy strong lamb crop
  • If feeding is inadequate or defective, weak or dead lambs will result..
  • It increase the number of strong healthy live lambs born,
  • It prolongs the productive life of the ewes,
  • It increases milk yield by the ewes resulting in healthier weanlings,
  • It also improves the wool productivity,
  • It lessens the incidence of lambing paralysis, and
  • It decreases the probability of ewes disowning their lambs as a result of exhaustion and weakness.

 9. Suggested rations for ewes during this period

  • Grazing: On a good pasture. .
  • Sorghum silage: One to two kg. Sorghum silage plus legume hay half to one kilogram per head per day.
  • Ad libitum supply of maize or sorghum fodder plus 50g of oil cakes like groundnut cake, per head per day.
  • Grazing on stubbles and harvested fields supplemented with 100 g of oil cakes per head per day.

10. Feeding ewes during late pregnancy

  • During this period ewes may be allowed to graze on crop aftermaths (crop stubbles), wild grasses and weeds
  • Their ration must be supplemented with available green fodder fed at the rate of 5 kg per head per day.
  • During the last one month of pregnancy the foetus grows rapidly in the uterus.
  • Lack of enough energy in the feed can cause pregnancy toxaemia in ewes.
  • Molasses or grains (barley, maize, oats, etc.) may be fed at the rate of 225 g per head per day.
  • Further, ewes should also receive available green fodder at the rate of 7 kg per head per day or
  •  600 g of quality legume hay or 300 g of concentrate with 12 to 14 % DCP and 65 to 70% TDN during last 45 days of pregnancy.

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