Posted March 3, 2020, by  
Submitted by szika on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 11:32

Co-Author:  Rob Zelinsky, M.S. & Hubbard Feeds Companion Animal Team


1.   Ultrasound Pregnancy Diagnosis


  • Sell open ewes during inflated cull ewe markets
  • Economical feeding (less over and under feeding)
  • Identify ewes with multiple births and feed accordingly


  • Cost
  • Extra ewe handling during pregnancy    

2.   Shearing

  • Lambs find the teats more quickly
  • Ewes udder stays cleaner
  • Existing barns house more shorn ewes than full-fleeced ewes
  • Dryer barn
  • Less bedding required
  • In cold seasons, ewes will lamb in the barn
  • Ewes are more agile
  • Monitor condition/udder development of ewes more easily     


  • Cold stress
  • Ewes can eat 10-20% more feed in extreme cold weather

3.   Body Condition Score     
 Assign a number 1-5 based on the amount of condition 

  • 1 = Emaciated
  • 3 = Average Body Condition
  • 5 = Obese

Desired Body Condition Levels:            

  • Summer 2.5 to 3
  • Late Gestation 3.5 to 4.0 
  • Lactation maintain 3

-  Handle ewes along their spine and across their loin edge to determine a condition score.
-  Don’t make evaluations based on covering over the ribs.
-  Blueprint Sheep Mineral will enhance performance during breeding, late gestation and lactation.  


4.  Sort ewes and feed accordingly for a uniform body condition at parturition:
Sort by:

  • Age
  • First-time lambers
  • Body condition score
  • Stage of gestation
  • Number of lambs based on ultrasound
  • Goal of body condition score of 3.5 to 4.0 at lambing

5.  Make use of a feed scale:  

  • Minimizes Acidosis/Overeating    
  • Sheep will stay on feed and allow producers to safely reach desired outcome at lambing