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Think Twice About Creep Feed

26 February 2015

UK – Creep feeding will not improve performance if high quality grass is available, say levy board researchers.

EBLEX data shows that spring lambs on well managed, re-seeded grazing can match lambs being creep fed on permanent pasture.

However, Dr Liz Genever, livestock scientist at EBLEX, has advised that specific management groups can be picked out for creep feeding to compensate for grass quality.

“Good feed conversion efficiency (FCE) is essential to cover the cost of concentrates and can vary from 5:1 to 10:1,” said Dr Genever. “Younger lambs convert feed more efficiently which makes introducing feed earlier more economical.”

When introducing feed, lambs on 4cm of sward can be expected to eat around 40-50 kilos of feed per head when offered ad libitum, she added.

“Lambs on restricted grazing with limited creep feed will gain on average an extra one kg liveweight for every 5-6kg of creep feed compared to un-supplemented lambs.

“Older lambs must be introduced to creep very carefully with a gradual increase to avoid gorging and dietary upset. Forward creep grazing, where lambs are given access to the best grazing before the ewes, can be used to prevent the need for creep feeding.”

Cost of feeding and importance of efficiency

You can view a feed conversion and cost calculation by clicking here.

TheSheepSite News Desk

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