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
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.