The Sernick Precision Sheep range has been developed to meet the needs of ewes during all physiological stages in both extensive and intensive systems. All products are scientifically formulated and evaluated under practical farming conditions to ensure maximum efficiency for the progressive sheep farmer.
Products are formulated for maximum microbe protein synthesis and rumen health and are therefore safe to use if applied as prescribed.
Although general guidelines for the application of products can be provided, it is important to note that the daily nutritional needs of the ewe are influenced by a variety of factors at a given physiological stage, the following being the most important:
- Ewe condition and mass
- Multiple birth status
- Wool production
- Breed and genetic growth potential
- Roughage and pasture quality
- Camp size and activity
Since all these factors are taken into account in the development of the products, it is therefore important that a Sernick technical advisor be engaged to make final recommendations regarding the choice and daily intake per ewe per day. This will ensure that the producer gets maximum value from the products.
- Precision Ewe Lick
This lick is formulated to serve as a supplement in a variety of field conditions, especially for the following physiological stages, in particular:
- Flush feeding
For best breeding rates, ewes with a BCS of between 2.5 and 3.5 should be in a rising energy balance for 17 to 28 days before mating. The goal is to achieve a BCS of 3.5 by the date of mating.
To achieve this target, 400 to 500 grams of Precision Ewe Lick can be provided per day.
- Early gestation (first 30 days)
It is important to maintain the same level of lick supplementation during the flush feeding phase, as any nutritional change during this phase can have an adverse effect on embryo implantation.
- Mid gestation
During this phase, only the maintenance needs of the ewe are met, and Precision Ewe Lick intake should be limited to 200 to 300 grams per ewe per day depending on the factors mentioned in the introduction. Although the nutritional requirements of the ewe are relatively low during this period, malnutrition during this period may impair the development of the placenta and consequently result in small, underdeveloped lambs at birth.
2. Precision Pregnant Ewe Pellets
Sernick Precision Pregnant Ewe Pellets were formulated to meet the needs of the ewe throughout the final third of gestation. During this period (45 days), 70% of foetus and udder development takes place and optimal feeding of the ewe is crucial. Secondary wool follicle development in the lamb also occurs during the last 6 weeks of gestation and the first 4 weeks of lactation and is largely influenced by feeding of the ewe during this period. In addition, the rumen also needs to be adapted to higher energy feed levels in the lambing pens. Malnutrition during this period can lead to acidosis, pregnancy toxaemia and milk fever in ewes around lambing time.
Precision Pregnant Ewe Pellets have been formulated as a supplement for the late gestational phase and ewes should be provided with ad lib grazing and/or roughage. The amount of pellets per ewe per day will depend on the factors mentioned in the introduction, but the following can serve as a guide:
|Weeks before lambing||Ewes with singles||Ewes with multiples||Pasture and/or hay|
3. Sernick Precision Lactating Ewe Pellets
The pre-weaning growth of the lamb is mainly determined by milk production of the ewe. The latter is determined directly by the feeding of the ewe after lambing. The ovulation rate of ewe lambs is also affected by the type of nutrition they receive during lactation. Sernick Precision Lactating Ewe Pellets are formulated for maximum milk production, especially before peak when the lamb is not yet consuming sufficient quantities of creep feed.
- Lambing pens
Sernick Precision Lactating Ewe Pellets are formulated to be fed in lambing pens as a complete feed without roughage. Although the product contains sufficient energy for high milk production, it is rumen friendly and can therefore be supplied ad lib without any roughage, provided that the ewes have been correctly adjusted with Precision Pregnant Ewe Pellets before lambing.
- Rest of lactation
During the rest of lactation, Precision Lactating Ewe Pellets are provided as a limited supplement to roughage. The amount of pellets per ewe per day will again depend on the factors mentioned in the introduction, but in the intensive system where only limited or no condition loss applies, the following can serve as a guide:
|Single ewes||Multiple ewes|
|First 4 weeks||Second 4 weeks||First 4 weeks||Second 4 weeks|
|Lactating ewe pellets||1.5||0.5||2.0||1.0|
|Medium quality hay||Ad lib||Ad lib||Ad lib||Ad lib|
In extensive systems where lambing occurs once a year, Sernick Lactating Ewe Pellets can be provided at lower levels as there is much more time to recover lost condition.
4. Sernick Precision Lamb Creep Feed Pellets
Creep feed has become an integral part of both intensive and extensive slaughter lamb production systems due to the following reasons:
- In intensive systems, early weaning is essential and creep feed should be provided to lambs for ( e.g.) 56 days to facilitate weaning. Even in extensive systems lambs can be weaned earlier if creep feed is provided so that the ewe has a longer period to recover before the next breeding season. In drought conditions it is also advisable to wean ewes earlier.
- In both intensive and extensive systems, creep feeding facilitates adaptation of lambs in the feedlot.
Sernick Precision Lamb Creep Feed Pellets are specially formulated to stimulate rumen development and have a high natural protein content to meet the needs of the lamb. In addition, the product contains a coccidiostat that prevents coccidiosis in young lambs.
The biggest challenge in providing creep feed is to teach the lambs to eat it at a young age. For this purpose, Sernick Precision Lamb Creep Feed Pellets are formulated with tasty raw materials and the pellet size is also optimal. However, it is also important for the producer to pay attention to the following in order to stimulate creep feed intake:
- Start supplying creep feed ad lib after ewes and lambs come out of the lamb pens
- Place creep feed close to the ewes’ feed and water
- Use an adjustable opening to allow free access to creep feed
- Ensure that fresh feed is provided daily and remove old feed daily
Lambs can be weaned if the group of lambs consumes an average of 250 grams of creep feed per lamb per day.