Feeding molasses is one of the easiest ways to supply a good source of fermentable energy and sugar. This is essential in any well-balanced diet. A molasses blend helps to maximise rumen function, stimulate fibre digestion and increase dry matter intake which can lead to improved flock health, performance and fertility.
Feeding high energy molasses blends to ewes in late pregnancy can have a big impact on lambing success, reducing the risk of twin lamb disease and boosting lamb vigour. With most ewes coming into the winter in good condition, the key is to keep them in good condition! It is important to prevent ewes getting overly fat or losing too much weight as either can lead to reduced performance and the increased chance of metabolic disorders. Ewes bearing twins and triplets have a particularly high demand for energy, especially glucose. As they get closer to lambing this demand increases greatly. If these energy and glucose demands aren’t met then ewes can suffer twin lamb disease/pregnancy toxaemia.
Around 70% of the lamb’s growth takes place in the last two months of pregnancy. It is therefore vital to ensure that the ewe’s nutritional requirements are met during this time. To meet the high energy demands of the growing lamb, ewes naturally metabolise body fat in the liver, producing ketones. If the dietary energy supply is inadequate, excessive body fat is metabolised, leading to an excessive build-up of ketones to toxic levels and body condition loss. The rule that prevention is better than cure is particularly true in this situation. Twin lamb disease can be prevented by feeding the ewe properly. This is in terms of both quantity and quality of feed supplied. Supplementary nutrients should be introduced six weeks pre-lambing with an amount based on ewe condition and where possible with predicted scanning information.
Feeding a high energy liquid feed such as ED&F Man’s Sheepmol will complement the East Coast Viners Ewe Feed Range, as well as maximising home-grown forages. Molasses products also have a low substitution rate which means more can be fed than would be the case with dry feed without reducing forage intake. ECV Ruminant Nutritionist, Steven Eddie, comments that customers using Sheepmol have dramatically reduced twin lamb disease. Ewes have lambed in much better condition and critically have produced good quality colostrum and milk, leading to strong, thriving lambs.
Sheepmol is a high dry matter, high sugar blend of cane molasses, glycerine and liquid co-products, formulated specifically for sheep. The unique mix of energy sources promotes healthy lamb growth and maintains ewe health. The exceptional palatability drives intake when the overall dry matter intake is reduced in late pregnancy. Free access feeding via liquid feeders reduces overall stress and the incidence of bullying or prolapse as well as saving time for the shepherd.
Sheep diets should be based around good quality forage supplemented with appropriate energy and protein sources, as well as good sources of vitamins and minerals. Farmers requiring extra supplementation in the flock should consider Sheepmol Plus. This product gives all the benefits of feeding Sheepmol but also includes a vitamin and mineral pack to aid ewe health and vitality.
The Sheepmol Range of products are available for delivery on farm from 1,000 litres in an IBC tank as well as bulk deliveries from 4,000 litres (5t) upwards. Alternatively, IBCs can be collected from our store at Drumlithie. For information on the range of molasses feeds and molasses storage solutions, please contact a member of our sales team.