ISSUE: Ewe fertility
Solution name: Body weight targets and reproduction outputs in dairy sheep
Dairy or/and meat sheep: Dairy
Source of information: Industry and research
Level of solution:
Aim: Achieve fertility in dairy ewes
Body weight targets in dairy and dual-purpose sheep breeds are: birth weights between 3.5 and 5 kg (lower values for twins and triplets); weaning weights of minimum 14-15 kg (4-6 weeks of age); ewe lamb weights at joining minimum 38-45 kg (8-10 months of age); body weights at first lambing 50-55 kg (13-15 months of age); body weights of mature ewes when put to ram ≥60 kg (depending on the breed standard); body weights of adult rams ≥80 kg (rams should be heavier by ≥20 kg compared to adult ewes). Reproduction efficiency targets in dairy and dual-purpose sheep breeds are: conception rates in ewe lambs 85-90%; conception rates in adult ewes ≥95%; prolificacy 140-180%; lambs survival rates from birth until weaning of ≥95%.
Expected benefits: Better reproduction efficiency.