Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE01-396.
These results have given me the confidence to allow young ewe lambs to graze through summer with only minimum supplementation (and therefore minimum gain). This year, my ewe lambs were fed less than 0.5 lb grain/hd/d, and only 0.25 lb live-weight/hd/d from June to August. In September, feed supplementation was increased to 0.75 lb grain/hd/d, and weight gain increased to 0.35 lb/hd/d. In October and November, grain went up to 1.00 lb/hd/d and weight gain to 0.67 lb/hd/d. Recent weighings have indicated that target breeding weights of 90 lb live-weight will easily be achieved by December 5th, the first day of the breeding season.
As a comparison, the University of Wisconsin has in the past fed their dairy ewe lambs 2 pounds of supplemental/hd/d from 30 days of age until breeding at 7 months of age. That’s 360 lb grain per ewe lamb, which at $100/ton=$18 grain/ewe lamb. This year my 7-month old ewe lambs have received a total of 127 lb grain each (at $100/ton=$6.35/ewe lamb).