Make The Best Lamb Returns You've Ever Had A Reality
MAKE THE BEST LAMB RETURNS YOU’VE EVER HAD A REALITY
An extra month taken to finish lambs could cost producers up to £15 per animal which when added to reports that the average flock loses over £6 per ewe, could mean the difference between a profit or a loss this year. Additionally, the reported expected drop in lamb rearing rate of 3% this year puts increasing pressure on lamb finishing stages in the months ahead making quick, efficient finishing of lambs whilst maximising forage even more of a focus than in previous years.
Following the long, hard winter and late spring, the tremendous flush of grass through late April and May this year has resulted in impressive lamb gains of up to 400g per day on many farms across the country. Older lambs will have benefitted directly from eating the high-quality spring grass, reported to contain up to 25.5% crude protein and 13MJ ME/kg DM, but also younger suckling lambs will have benefitted through increased milk production from their dam.
But as every sheep farmer knows, this situation changes through June and July as grass nutritional quality and dry matter accumulation begin their annual slow, but sure, decline and lamb growth rates naturally slow down.
Whilst it is essential to maintain target lamb growth rates as the season progresses, the focus should be on finishing lambs as early as possible so utilising that high quality, low cost forage before the seasonal decline in market prices from June onwards (figure 1) really starts to impact on the value of the lamb output. For example, lamb prices took a nose dive of around 37p per kilo between the months of June and July last year, equating to a value of £15 for a 40kg lamb, which is certainly not something to be sniffed at.
With these factors in mind, offering lambs free-access supplementation after weaning can result in both increased forage utilisation and lamb growth rates. Rumevite Quality Lamb is a feed block specifically formulated for growing and finishing lambs after weaning containing high energy and protein plus minerals and vitamins including cobalt, selenium and vitamin B1. This makes it ideal for helping offset the decline in grazing value (figure 2) thereby supporting lamb growth and the production of a carcase that meets market requirements.
Numerous independent trials have shown the benefits of Rumevite Quality Lamb when compared to traditional methods of fattening lambs.
Compared to traditional creep feeding the Rumevite Quality Lamb offered savings of over £5.50 per head in trials at Otley College with both systems resulting in similar animal performance. Further trial results from Plumpton College showed a doubling of growth rates for weaned lambs offered Rumevite Quality Lamb alongside stubble turnips compared to no supplementation (189g/lamb/day versus 94g/lamb/day) resulting in supplemented lambs reaching slaughter an incredible 38 days sooner. Moreover, a higher proportion of the lambs hit target carcase specifications in the Rumevite fed group, therefore also demanding a premium market value.
As part of the Rumevite Quality Lamb block, animals also receive the full recommended daily dose of Diamond V XPC, a natural fermentation-based product, proven in a Harper Adams University study to reduce days to slaughter by 18 days and improve lamb carcase grades.
Following an expensive winter and lambing period, ensuring you capture the highest value from every lamb on farm is fundamental to recovering potential profitability this season. The use of a proven product which acts to supplement your own quality grazing without incurring the typical time and cost of traditional feeding systems to achieve this should become the reality of every producer aiming to make the best returns they can from this years’ lamb crop.