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PW1.2 Nutrition Series

01 Options for light weight spring lambs

November 2006

The drought has posed many dilemmas for sheep producers. Amongst these is, “What are my options with light weight spring drop lambs?” Small Merino lambs are the greatest challenge, and even though there is more flexibility with prime lambs the current marketing environment is difficult. Options for light bodyweight lambs born this spring are examined. This note was prepared in October 2006 and reflects prices and expectations current at that time. The Feedlot Calculator that was used to examine the variables associated with feeding programs was developed with funding from the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre by staff of the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

DownloadOptions for light weight spring lamb drop (423 KB)

02 Sorghum grain for lot feeding of sheep

March 2007

In northern New South Wales and Queensland, sorghum grain can be used in sheep feedlots to profitably add value to low bodyweight lambs and cast-for-age (CFA) Merino sheep. In these areas, sorghum grain can be cheaper and often more readily available than winter cereals. Including non-protein nitrogen significantly improves the performance of sheep on sorghum diets.

03 Feedlot calculator

March 2007

In times of drought or when lamb prices are high, feedlotting lambs can be an attractive management option for producers. However, profit margins can be tight and feedlotting is labour-intensive. A well-informed and carefully planned approach is required to be successful. The Feedlot Calculator allows you to make well-informed decisions before committing yourself by removing much of the guesswork. You can easily and quickly look at a range of current production, price and feeding scenarios and estimate likely profits or losses.

04 Feeding grain and hay separately in lamb feedlots cheap and effective

April 2008

Keeping costs to a minimum is essential with the tight margins in lot feeding lambs. Feeding the hay and grain components of the ration separately is cheaper than and as effective as the more expensive pelleted or total mixed rations. The Sheep CRC has found that lambs fed hay and grain separately had similar growth rates, carcase weights and carcase traits to those fed pellets and better carcase weights to those fed a total mixed ration.

05 The Cowra Bale Feeder for hay and roughage feeding

April 2008

Feeding hay and silage on the ground can be extremely wasteful with reduced lamb growth rates. The Sheep CRC has funded the development of the Cowra Bale Feeder and Chop Feeder. These reduce waste and improve growth rates.