Optimise conception rates with Blueprint® Lift
Correct management of stock prior to joining has a large influence on the conception rates of your flock. Ewe nutrition is key to joining success. When ewes are in an optimal body condition at joining, their ovulation rate and chance of conceiving twins (fecundity) increases.
Ram preparation is also crucial – rams must be healthy and in the best condition possible. Lambing potential is maximised when rams can work and have viable sperm throughout the joining period. Ideally, aim to begin preparation of rams eight weeks prior to joining, as it takes seven weeks for sperm to develop.
Both ewes and rams will benefit from a flush of high protein and energy from grain or pastures prior to joining. If rams are on a low protein ration or dry paddock feed, they could benefit from the inclusion of lupins in their diet, up to 750 grams per head per day, for eight weeks leading up to joining. If the rams are on better quality pastures, we can assist with adjusting the quantity of lupins or make recommendations depending on the protein sources available. Ideally rams should be between condition score three and four at joining.
Ewes can also benefit from supplementary feeding with grain such as lupins, prior to joining. Feeding levels will vary depending on the condition of the ewes but could benefit from up to 500 grams per head per day, for at least 7 days prior to the rams going in. Ewes should be in condition score three and on a rising plane of nutrition to optimise their fertility at joining.
To supplement pasture and grain intake, a vitamin and mineral loose lick such as Blueprint© Lift – a granulated, weather resistant loose lick, will assist to boost levels of vitamins, macro and micro minerals, prior to joining, to optimise reproductive success.
Blueprint Lift contains Bioplex© chelated trace minerals and Sel-Plex© from Alltech© that mimic the way minerals are delivered through plants and offers significantly higher bioavailability to the animals than traditional mineral salt sources.
Manganese, zinc and selenium are all crucial in the reproductive process – deficiencies have been associated with silent heat, poor conception, early embryonic death and weak or stillborn progeny.
Blueprint Lift is a balanced blend which can help to overcome deficiencies and optimise the fertility of your flock. It also contains Alltech technologies to assist with rumen health and the feed efficiency of your animals.
An example of supplementing ewes with Blueprint Lift in maximising the potential progeny (as scanned embryos) and the farm’s economic profit comes from producer Tom, in the Goulburn region of New South Wales. His ewes, when joined, were in a transition period adjusting to green feed after a break in a prolonged dry spell, where they were receiving a full feed ration.
Tom was still supplementary feeding grain through this period as well as giving access to good quality hay ad-lib and Blueprint Lift on a rapidly growing pasture.
Scanning for triplets gave Tom the following results:
- 190% in Merino x Merino
- 146% in Maiden Merino x Merino
- 173% in Border Leicester x Merino
- 207% in Poll Dorsett x Cross breed ewes
- 126% in Cross breed ewe lambs (optional joining at 7 months to fill gap in numbers after drought de-stocking)
Off the back of two years of very heavy drought, Tom was able to feed his ewes to better reach their genetic potential, in addition to correct management practices and the inclusion of essential vitamins and minerals in the form of Blueprint Lift. These numbers put Tom in a good position to capitalise on what has turned out to be a very good season.
This joining program made sure the ewes were in an appropriate condition score, had access to good quality protein and energy sources as well as essential vitamins and minerals. For details on supply, feeding rates and expected costing of Blueprint Lift, contact your local Alltech Lienert representative on (08) 8524 8150.
Article written by Alltech Lienert for the Autumn 2021 edition of Seasons Magazine.
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