Effect of Growth Rate on Mammary Gland Development in Ewe Lambs: Review of the Literature - Feeding Guidelines for American Dairy Sheep Producers

Final Report for FNE01-396

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2001: $3,108.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,223.00
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Bee Tolman
Tolman Sheep Dairy Farm
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Project Information


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).


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.