Growing and Finishing Store Lambs for Better Returns
22nd January 2018

Pictured: Matthew Armstrong Ruminant Nutritionist Fane Valley Feeds.

Matthew Armstrong Ruminant Nutritionist at Fane Valley Feeds outlines some of the challenges in finishing store lambs.

With the unfavourable weather in recent months, grass is unable to withstand considerable grazing. Although grass may be off reasonable quality the emphasis on dry matter intake is critical, especially when trying to finish store lambs in the field.  The lambs ability to consume the required amount of grass is impossible due to the low dry matter content of the grass, meaning daily live weight gains are compromised.  This results in the need to feed concentrates to meet the energy and protein requirements to overcome the deficit.

When feeding in the field a nut is the most practical option, as less feed is wasted in unfavourable conditions allowing intakes to be maximised.  It is crucial to ensure that every lamb can feed at one time when lambs are not fed ad-lib.  Research has shown feeding 300 grams/lamb/day, improves lamb performance and reduces age at slaughter by 22 days.

If you are considering housing lambs it is imperative to ensure finishing lambs don’t compete for farm resources with breeding stock, as grass surplus could be required when ewes lamb. When housed physical effective fibre in the form of either silage or straw is essential as adequate roughage is critical for rumen function. If using a diet feeder chop length of muzzle width is important to avoid sorting and maximise intakes, which in turn will give better performance.

Fane Valley Feeds’ Lamb range comprises of the correct balance of energy, protein and digestible fibres sources to meet the requirements of the store lamb for every system.

Energy sources from Maize, Barley and Wheat complement each other through different speeds of degradation, ensuring the Lambs energy and maintenance requirement are met to ensure DLWG is maximised. 

The different quality protein sources Fane Valley Feeds use include Hipro Soya, Rapeseed, US Distillers and Corn Gluten.  The variety of protein sources ensure the Lambs Amino acid profile is met through both Microbial Protein and Rumen Undegradable Protein.   These quality protein sources ensure a strong muscular frame, while contributing to sound bone growth driving the fast production of lean muscle growth.

Our digestible fibres sources include Soya Hulls, Wheatfeed and Sugar Beet Pulp which help to balance the diet and ensure proper rumen function is maintained.  This is imperative in the diet especially when high levels of concentrate are fed to avoid acidosis and ensure proper feed digestion.

Fane Valley Feeds Pedigree Lamb Creep contains a high level of Actisaf live yeast to help condition the rumen – a key factor in achieving high feed conversion efficiency and maximising growth rates. The inclusion of Ammonium Chloride in our feeds helps to lower the risk of urinary calculi during periods of more intense feeding. Fane Valley Feeds’ Protected Lamb Mineral Package meets all the required vitamin and mineral levels, including chelated minerals to improve availability and absorption by the lamb.

If you would like to know more about Fane Valley Feeds’ Lamb Range, please contact your local sales representative or Ruminant Nutritionists, Matthew Armstrong on 07714 950 585 for more information.