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Nutrition

Good nutrition is the cornerstone to successful flock performance.  It’s key to unlocking the genetic potential in a flock.  Correctly fed sheep perform better; ewes will have a better chance of staying healthy throughout pregnancy and lactation, and successfully rearing lambs to weaning.   Ewes and lambs will also be healthier and more resistance to disease and internal parasites. 

Understanding the nutritional requirements of the flock throughout the year and using condition scoring to ensure that requirements are being met is important. From the moment of conception, nutrition has a large influence on a sheep’s lifetime performance. On the right-hand side of this page is a link to a ewe nutrition timeline, to help farmers manage the condition of their ewes throughout the year.

Rotational grazing is a method of growing more, better quality grass. Through our Better Grazing programme, QMS has worked alongside farmers to develop grazing strategies and reduce the barriers to implementing rotational grazing at farm level. Through the ring-fenced fund, QMS also supports farmer driven research and development into grass growth through Grass Check GB.

Consideration also needs to be given to profitability.  As much of the nutritional demands of the flock as possible should be met from the lowest cost feed, which is grazed grass. You will therefore find a number of features on this page taken from Livestock + magazine, produced by QMS, that highlight how farmers around Scotland have changed their grass and silage management to save feed costs.