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2011 Catalog

Ewe with Lambs

CRITICAL STAGES - The last four weeks of gestation and the first six weeks of lactation are the most critical stages of production in the ewe’s life.

LATE GESTATION- What you do to the ewe flock in late gestation determines the success of your lambing. This is the time that ewes need to be vaccinated and cleaned up of coccidiosis and bacteria that can cause pneumonia in baby lambs. Even though the adult ewe rarely shows signs of a cocci infection- she is the source of infection for the newborn lambs. (all sheep have some cocci in their gut) It is essential that a specialized feeding program be used pre-lambing to clean up the cocci in the ewe flock. This will greatly reduce the degree of infection of the newborn lambs - giving them a chance to consume enough creep feed with a coccidiastat to medicate themselves.

Typical Ewe Supplements are too low in bovatec (300g/ton) thus a daily intake level of only 18 mg is realized. The manufacturer of bovatec says a ewe needs 24 to 70 mg daily. Our 45% Ewe Supplement has 408 grams /ton of bovatec. Therefore a 0.33 lb. feeding rate of our 45% Ewe provides 70 mg of bovatec per ewe daily!

To protect your lambs from Clostridia C & D + Tetanus; inject ewes 2-4 weeks pre-lambing with 2 cc (ml) of CD & T Toxoid. First time lambers would need two vaccinations two weeks apart for maximum immunity. Minimum Vaccination: Clostridia C D + tetanus. Optional : E. Coli Vacc., Pneumonia Vacc. (Since there are really no good sheep pneumonia vaccines available; you might consider Sulfa treating the water 3 days on, 3 days off, 3 days on for two weeks preceding lambing for respiratory disease control.)

Feeding to control abortions & stillborns
Feeding a 250 mg level (daily/ewe) of chloratetracycline (aureomycin) will reduce losses due to abortion diseases such as vibrio and chlamydia. If you are having trouble with toxoplasmosis, it is not affected by antibiotics such as aureomycin. You must feed rumensin (not approved) to control toxoplasmosis.

Late Gestation - Feeding to prevent weak lambs & WMD -
Your gestation feeding program should also provide very high vitamin E and selenium levels. This will eliminate/ reduce weak & slow lambs, retained placentas, and WMD (white muscle disease), which is caused by low Vitamin E and Selenium. Most supplements provide only 0–30 IU Vitamin E and 0–30 mg Selenium /ewe/day. Our 45% EWE has 70 mg selenium and 50 IU of Vitamin E per 0.33 lbs.

Late Gestation Rations:

Daily Feeding Rate



Grain (Corn)



45% Ewe Supplement



Aureo 4 G Crumbles






Above rations =0.25# of 45% fed/ewe/day.
Cost per ewe daily: 45% = $0.07

Primary concerns in lactation are protein and energy intake in order to produce an adequate volume of milk. Phosphorous is also important in milk production and lamb development– it is often low in traditional sheep feeds. Vitamin E intake should be 40 to 50 IU per ewe daily; but most feeds provide only 5–20 IU.
(Hunter Nutrition’s 45% Ewe provides 50 IU Vit E and 70 mg Selenium per 0.33 lbs. of supplement.)

Sample Lactation Rations:

Daily Feeding Rate








45% Ewe







Rations above will provide a daily intake rate of 0.30 lbs. of 45% Ewe Supplement. These rations are fed with ‘good’ quality hay. Forage testing and ration formulation service is available for ration balancing based on your farms hay quality and size of ewe. Cost per ewe daily when feeding 0.30# of 45% in lactation is only $0.10.


- and still having problems with COCCIDIOSIS?



1. Feed extra BOVATEC pre-lambing, through our ewe supplement, to clean up the ewe and the environment that lambs are exposed to. Our Ewe supplement is unique, each 1/3# provides 70 mg of bovatec, (Plus 0.70 mg Selenium, and 50 IU Vitamin E). This is the highest fortified ewe supplement available- no other supplement provides levels this high. The 4 week feeding of 45% Ewe Supplement will clean up the ewe, which will reduce the level of cocci in the environment, and thus greatly lessen the degree of exposure that the lambs have to coccidiosis. (Costs $0.07/hd/day).

2. Feed lambs one of our starter feeds which contain 90 grams/ton of BOVATEC. Nearly all other starters have only 30 grams/ton of BOVATEC. This level of BOVATEC doesn’t provide adequate cocci control for lambs under 60 days of age. (30 grams/ton is adequate for lambs consuming 3# of feed/day. But baby lambs consume much less than this, and will need a more concentrated level of bovatec.)

Energy and protein intake are the most limiting factors in the growth of baby lambs. Vitamin E and coccidiosis control are most critical- for good health.
Most companies market lamb starter feeds based on low cost. These diets produce a low rate of gains and fail to let a lamb maximize his genetic potential. A good Lamb Starter is high in energy, low in fiber and contains very high levels of vitamins, minerals, & the proper level of coccidiastat.
Proper particle size of the Starter Feed is very important to ensure adequate, early consumption.
Lambs typically prefer smaller, firmer particle size feeds from birth to about 2 weeks of age. Feeds such as crumbles and ground feeds will be accepted first provided these very young lambs have access to them.
From 2 to 4 weeks of age a lamb’s preference changes to a pellet. At 4 weeks of age, they prefer a grain mixture (texturized feed). Lambs have a definite pattern of preference of starter feeds. However these preferences change very quickly.
When starting baby lambs on feed make sure that the creep is set up as early as possible. Early exposure to feed will improve future feed consumption levels, facilitate rumen development and overall performance of the lamb. I also recommend using a self-feeder in the creep area and make sure it never runs empty. In addition to a top starter feed, provide good quality legume or legume mixed hay in the creep area, lambs often will eat hay first.

Be sure you allow for a smooth transition from the creep ration to grower/finisher feeds. Keep lambs on the creep ration for about a week post-weaning. Also be sure when you wean to remove the ewes from the lambs. Leaving the lambs in a familiar environment makes for a less stressful weaning, resulting in improved performance.

The second week post weaning you can blend the grower ration with the creep ration. A good way to do this is to put the new feed on top of the (old) creep ration in a self feeder. The rations mix as they are consumed.

Good nutrition and economy are best achieved for growing and finishing lambs with the use of a mix of 80% grain and 20% supplement pellet. When you first switch to this program you should use cracked grains. Only after lambs are about 90 days old can you successfully self feed a whole grain and pellet ration. Lambs from weaning to 90 days of age tend to sort the whole grain and pellet diets. This is why we recommend using cracked grain initially when switching to the grain and pellet program.

Sample ration for Lambs:

60 to 90 days

90 days to market


1580 (crack)

1600 (whole)

Lamb Supp



Soybean Oil





Proper nutrition of the replacement ewe is one of the most overlooked areas in sheep nutrition. You cannot simply take replacements out of the feedlot and send them to pasture with the ewe flock. Replacements should be managed as a separate group for at least the first year or until their first lambing. Your replacements can be fed like the rest of your lamb crop to about 90 lbs. This weight will vary with breed type and genetics; but should be a point where the lamb would carry only enough finish to rate low choice. Excessive body fat will reduce future productivity (conception rate, prolificacy) and milk production. This "90 lb." replacement would then require 15% more energy, 33% more protein, and the same level of dry matter as a 200 lb ewe. These requirements could not be met if your replacements are managed with the ewe flock. As the replacement ewe grows we see her requirements for dry matter remain fairly constant to 150#. However the protein and energy requirements go down. The feeding of replacements is an art, you need to keep them growing and gaining weight but not putting on excessive fat. The properly developed ewe lamb should attain at least 75% of her mature weight by the time she is 12 months old. She could join the ewe flock after this first lactation.

A successful replacement ewe lamb feeding program is to give these ewes lambs a separate high quality pasture and hand feed the grain mixture. Keep them on the good pasture for its fiber and protein content. Then vary the pounds of grain mix fed per day according to the condition and growth rate of the ewe lambs. Typically you will start at about 3-4 lbs. of feed (at 90 days) when you first separate the replacement from the other lambs. At about 4-6 months you will probably be feeding 2-2 1/2 lbs. Then from about 9 months of age to lambing they typically receive 1-2 1/2 lbs. of grain plus that good pasture or hay.

Sample hand fed grain mix for Replacement Ewes:



40% Lamb Supplement




Hunter Nutrition • 200 N. South Street, PO Box 412, Brookston, IN 47923 • Phone: (765) 563-1003 • Fax: (765) 563-1005