World’s best practice in lamb survival

Matthew Ipsen - Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

Interesting commentary of selecting sheep with a genetic propensity for lamb survival.

This Nuffield Scholar has focused his study on how poor lamb survival is affecting low reproductive efficiency within the Australian sheep flock. The estimated loss of perinatal lamb loss to the industry if $56 million. Ipsen stated that his objective for the research:

A Nuffield scholarship investigating world’s best practice in lamb survival, particularly in the first three days of life, appeared a natural fit and I hope to improve profitability for my own farm, my business clients and the industry.

Recommendations made by Ipsen include:

  • Select rams on ASBVs for total weaning weight
  • Identifying and retaining the best performing uses and removing the worst performed (selection intensity)
  • Management through pregnancy and post-lambing are encouraged.

Case studies provided give an insight into producers getting great results. In particular, a Romney stud in New Zealand has reduced lamb mortality to 7%.

While a silver bullet for improving lamb survival was not found, particular in the crucial first three days, there are management and research results from around the world that can improve reproductive performance.

2014 - Australia - Matthew Ipsen - Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars
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