fbpx
Print this page
Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:58

Re-consider pre-lamb shearing

Written by  Staff Reporters
Sheep should not be shorn in the last four weeks of pregnancy. Sheep should not be shorn in the last four weeks of pregnancy.

Farmers are being urged to consider delaying pre-lamb shearing this winter as feed resources in many parts of the country are already stretched.

Shearing may increase feed demand by 10-30% for two to four weeks, depending on temperature, wind and rain, as the ewes need extra energy to maintain body heat. Shearing also places freshly shorn sheep at risk in bad weather. 

This risk is greater for sheep with a body condition score of below 3. Sheep should not be shorn in the last four weeks of pregnancy.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s senior advisor for biosecurity and animal welfare, Will Halliday, says leaving wool on or just belly crutching will reduce ewes’ feed demand in colder weather compared to fully shorn ewes.

If pre-lamb shearing is necessary, it is recommended that ewes are pre-conditioned by feeding grain for at least 10 days prior to shearing so that feeding can be stepped up immediately afterwards. Alternatively, a well-sheltered area with above maintenance levels of three to four-centimetre pasture length should be provided.

Cover combs will reduce the period of increased feed demand by one or two weeks. Lifters could also be used to leave even more wool on.

Ideally, shearing during winter should be staggered to reduce risk, shearing a shed-full at a time with a three-day gap between. This means sheep can be run back into the shed after shearing, if necessary.

Halliday says the downside of leaving wool on is that ewes are less likely to seek shelter during a storm or cold snap so will need to be monitored and shelter provided during lambing.

More like this

Beef+Lamb pushing for changes

Farmer-good organisation Beef+Lamb NZ (BLNZ) says it will continue to advocate for changes to the new fresh water regulations.

Meat report maps out challenges after Covid

Global markets and consumers around the world are making large shifts on how they maintain food security, purchase food and the attributes of the products they are seeking.

Govt ignored advice

Despite Government and officials ignoring farmer and industry advice, farmers are determined to do the right thing for water quality, says Beef+Lamb NZ CEO Sam McIvor.

Featured

Awards help winners fine-tune

Newly-crowned Share Farmers of the Year Sarah and Aidan Stevenson are looking forward to their leadership roles over the next 12 months.

 

Living the dream on farm

DairyNZ board candidate Cole Groves says he is “living the dream” as a dairy farmer, milking just over 400 cows near Hinds in Mid-Canterbury.

National

Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…