Korenhof Merino's

10 April 2017
3 minutes

As published in WOOLFARMER – April 2017   It is no longer a secret what the benefits of a lambing pen system can provide, but it is still a matter of controversial debate if having lambing pens are worth the time, money and effort.

What is clear is that those farmers, who are willing to apply good management and nutrition, can certainly say that a lambing pen system is worth every penny and drop of sweat required. Although lambing pen systems are expensive and labour intensive, the question must be asked regularly: "Can I afford not to do it?"

  • A study by Farquharson (2011) showed that for every 5 minutes a ewe is separated from her lambs, lamb mortality increased by 5% (during the first 6 hours after lambing)
  • In the case of Merinos, as high as half of twin lambs may be lost within the first 2 days after birth (Nowak 1996). Only 1 of 3 such lambs will survive
De Heus went a step further with the development of the RumiComplete Ewe & Lamb Creep pellets for the ewes, but they can also serve as a lamb creep feed. RumiComplete Ewe & Lamb Creep can be fed to the ewes from 4 - 6 weeks before and for 6 weeks after lambing. The lambs will begin nibbling on the creep pellets as early as day 4 after birth. The goal is that the ewes will teach the lambs to eat the pellets and by the time the ewes stop eating the pellets, (sometimes three weeks after lambing), the lambs have been taught to eat their creep feed. Lambs will eat the creep pellets until they are weaned.

Mr Dirk Hanekom, of Korenhof Merinos near Klipdale, has been making use of a lambing pen system for years now.

Dirk said: "De Heus's RumiComplete Ewe & Lamb Creep pellets work very well. The ewes have much milk, but their udders do not overdevelop. The pellets are very tasty and the lambs learn to eat the small (4 mm) pellets quickly. The big difference that I could see, apart from the palatability and good milk production is that the ewes consume all the pellets even when they are damp and wet. I do not have to throw away any feed and that saves much money."

It is a privilege for De Heus to develop a product for customers like Dirk so we can help them to prosper.