Weaning to get the best out of your ewes

ewe and lamb in paddock

Ewes benefit from weaning, as they have more time to regain condition before joining.

Ewes need sufficient time and adequate feed on offer (FOO) (more than 1000 kg/ha) to regain condition, as they need to reach condition score 3 by joining to achieve good reproductive rates.

Producers also have greater flock management flexibility after weaning, enabling ewes to graze paddocks with less the 1500 Kg/ha FOO, or graze paddocks that have silver or barley grass dominant pastures, or ewes can be agisted or sold. 

Any ewes less than condition score 2.5 before pasture senescence should be separated off into a separate group and provided with more than 1500 kg/ha FOO to ensure they reach the target of condition score 3. 

Pasture growth rate needs to be greater than the rate of pasture removal by grazing animals, otherwise FOO will decrease and further reduce growth rate. 

See Grazing annual pastures in winter and spring for tactics on managing pasture to manipulate the quality and quantity as well as the composition; increasing animal production efficiency and achieving production targets; reducing insect populations; and ensuring pasture persistence.   

For more information contact Danny Roberts, Veterinary Officer, Albany, +61 (0)8 9892 8535.