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Sheep Nuts

During times of low pasture availability and/or quality, sheep require a good quality supplement to balance nutrient deficiencies.

This should be a digestible feed that provides a high metabolisable energy (Me) and low neutral detergent fibre (nDF), which is important to fill feed gaps and maintain production. It is also important for ewes in late pregnancy as rumen space is limited due to the foetus or foetuses, and this negatively impacts feed intake, particularly if ewes are carrying twins and triplets. Ewes that have been scanned as carrying triplets should be fed up to 200grams/head/day of Reliance Triplet nuts from four weeks before lambing to increase lamb survival rates and lamb viability at birth. Reliance Triplet nuts are not suitable for single or twin bearing ewes as it can cause difficult lambings.

Reliance Sheep nuts are designed as a highly digestible feed with high levels of Me to allow energy levels to be maintained while feed intake is decreased. This means pregnant ewes obtain their nutritional requirements while they are unable to consume enough forage. Keeping ewes in good condition and maintaining nutrition in late pregnancy is important. It prevents wasting diseases such as sleepy sickness, and increases lamb viability and survival, particularly for ewes carrying multiple lambs. Severe under-nutrition during the last trimester of pregnancy can affect wool quality as it impairs the development of secondary wool follicles in the lamb, leading to depressions in the quality and quantity of their wool as mature adults.

Reliance Sheep nuts contain higher energy and have increased digestibility compared with other feeds such as silage, baleage or even unprocessed barley. This is due to it being processed, as well as lower nDF levels compared with forages. Reliance Sheep nuts also contain nutritional levels of a wide range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These include vitamins such as vitamin A, D and e, minerals such as sodium and calcium and essential trace minerals including zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt, selenium. in particular, vitamin e and selenium are important in late pregnancy for neonatal lamb survival and health, as well as being important for the ewe in the production of colostrum.

The optimum feeding rate depends on pasture availability, age and condition of the sheep. Reliance Sheep nuts should typically be fed at 150g/head/day but can be fed at higher rates if needed. if grain or sheep nuts have not be fed previously, then sheep should be started on 50grams/head/day for one week, then gradually built up to the desired daily feeding rate over the following one to two weeks. This allows the rumen to adapt to digesting a higher starch feed and reduces the risk of acidosis. Sheep should always have forage available and have continuous access to clean, fresh water. limiting water intake will depress feed intake and affect production.

Reliance feeds are made from selected quality ingredients and are quality tested to make sure they meet the stated specifications. To discuss the optimum feeding levels and diet for your flock, please call Farmlands nutrition team on 0800 278 583 or email nutrition@farmlands.co.nz