SHEEP Update

October 2014
This summer saw the launch of our new range of Energyze feed licks and marks a significant focus on
maximising the utilisation of forage for cattle and sheep.
“The key driver behind the Energyze product range is rumen function” explains Harbro technical director,
Willie Thomson. “The formulation is focused primarily on boosting rumen activity to allow greater digestion
- and greater intakes - of all dietary forages. The key benefit is that your stock get the most out of what
you have produced – and the least requirement for supplementary feed.”
Energyze for autumn sheep
As we proceed towards winter,
grass loses much of its digestibility and
hence energy value. The grass content
of soluble sugars (produced from
sunlight) reduces and the stem
becomes more fibrous and lignified.
Energyze primarily provides a boost
of soluble sugars and nitrogen, key
products which actively feed the
rumen bugs. These rumen bugs are
essential for forage digestion and their
increased activity leads to a quicker
and more efficient digestion of forage
i.e. more energy from autumn grass.
But the advantage doesn’t stop there
as illustrated adjacent. By improving
the speed of digestion of the forage,
more room is created for the sheep to
consume extra forage, and so, dry
matter intake is increased.
Key to fertility
Getting more out of forage in the
autumn can be key to fertility, flushing
ewes pre-tupping and will also allow
ewes to enter the winter in better
condition, thereby reducing winter
feed bills.
• Forage intake = 1.5kg DMI
• Forage energy content = 11 MJ ME/kg
• Energy from forage = 16.5 MJ
• Forage intake = 1.65kg DMI
• Forage energy content = 11MJ ME/kg
• Energy from forage = 18.15 MJ
• Energy from Energyze = 0.65 MJ
• Total energy intake = 18.8 MJ, a 14%
increase in energy
Forage Booster offers:
Much research has gone into the
new range of Energyze products. One
of the priorities was to provide an
effective product for flushing ewes,
with a real focus on achieving a
significant boost in energy intakes
from autumn grass. This boost of
energy, and specifically sugars, is the
key signal required to convince the
ewe that she is in a good state for
Boosting cobalt
Energy however, is only part of the
story. Recent research, backed up by
on-farm observations made by our
customers, shows that boosting cobalt
levels pre-tupping can have a
significant, beneficial impact on lamb
vitality months later at lambing.
This concept was first proposed by
Professor John Robinson at a farm
meeting and our trials suggest that the
benefit is potentially significant.
Well known Aberdeenshire farmer,
John Gordon, Wellheads, Huntly who
runs an 860 head flock of Mule and
(continued on page 2)
Unique high energy sources
Omega 3 oils for improved fertility and immunity
Sel-Plex to dramatically lifts blood selenium levels
Improved forage intakes
Improved body condition
Nutritional Services • Forage Analysis • Ration Formulation • Animal Health Advice
Why are Omega 3 Oils Important?
Fish oils are an excellent source of omega 3 oils which are a
key nutrient for sheep for reproductive efficiency, being
required in large amounts for sperm production and embryo
These oils are also key to new born vitality and survival. Work
carried out in 2002 showed that in lambs, omega 3 oils were
proven to increase birth weight, reduce the time taken to stand
and reduce the time taken to suckle (see table adjacent).
Lambs have more
vigour and more
inclination to suck
says Aberdeenshire
farmer, John
Gestation Length (days)
Time to stand (minutes
Time to suckle (minutes)
Birthweight (kg)
Control Fish Oil Difference
The Importance of Omega 3 Oils (Capper et al, BSAS 2002)
(continued from front page)
cross Texel ewes, was one of the first to
try the concept. “We definitely found that
the lambs had more vigour and more
inclination to suck. We also had very few
lambs to assist to suck,” said Mr Gordon.
”We will continue to boost cobalt pretupping.”
Store lambs often show signs of
deficiency in the autumn and with
forage analyses highlighting deficiencies
of cobalt and selenium, a supplement
containing these trace elements is well
recognised as giving a great boost to
performance. Often forgotten, however, is
the key mineral, salt.
Crucial role
deficiencies, hence the reason that providing
rock salt is so often associated with a
noticeable improvement in performance.
Salt is also associated with improving
feed intakes, and this, combined with the
improved trace element absorption,
makes it a very useful supplement for
lambs on forage.
Energyze Forage Booster combines salt
into a palatable, molassed energy lick to
give lambs and ewes a real boost.
of our offer
Salt has a crucial role in the absorption
of most trace elements, and is often
deficient in grassland. A shortage of salt
can magnify the significance of other
Buy any 10 x 25kg buckets
or 2 x 100kg buckets to
receive a free Harbro hat
Energyze Forage Booster and Vitality are part of a two-stage feeding programme.
Forage Booster can be fed through the winter months, moving to Energyze Vitality
six weeks pre-lambing until six weeks post-lambing.
The feeding regime for your flock will be dependent on weather and scanning results
so for more information and advice, contact your Harbro sales specialist.
Buy ½ tonne to receive a
free Harbro bodywarmer
Buy 1 tonne or over to
receive a free boilersuit
Purchase by 31 October 2014 to qualify!
Eliminating Twin Lamb at Carwood
In Scottish sheep circles, think of the
name Wight and the next word to spring
to mind is Blackface. This family has been
breeding Blackies for many generations
and Colin Wight uses Scotch Mule ewes
as the foundation for his own flock of
1000 cross ewes at Carwood Farm, Biggar.
Carwood was purchased by the family
business John Wight & sons in 1986, just
before Colin and his wife Fiona got
married. They have gradually turned the
farm from predominantly grain growing to
a well respected and productive livestock
unit with help from a fulltime tractorman
and stockman. Their three daughters
Susan, Alison and Lyndsay all take time
out from their respective university
studies and work to give a much
welcomed hand at lambing time.
The ground, all of which is ploughable,
ranges from 750 feet above sea level to
just over 1000 feet at the top of the hill.
Most of it is set to grazing with around
100 acres of winter wheat and spring
barley grown. Barley from the last two
harvests has been treated with
Maxammon and used as part of the
feeding regime for cattle. 20 acres of
turnips and fodder kale/rape are grown to
finish lambs later in the season.
Cross ewes
His flock of 1000 cross ewes start off
with a Scotch Mule ewe and are crossed
with a Texel. Some have been further
crossed with the Suffolk and Colin says “I
find that these are the best ewes, having
better feet and being less prone to
These ewes are put back to homebred Suffolk or Texel tups. All progeny
are finished on the farm heading for
Lanark market or an increasing
proportion to Woodhead Brothers in
Turriff where they are getting a better
price for the lambs deadweight.
Replacement Mules are sourced from
Colin is aiming for twins from each ewe
so they are not flushed. Ewes move from
the higher ground onto slightly better
grass before the tup goes in.
Lambs and ewes enjoying the grazing at Carwood Farm, Biggar
receive a supplementary feed lick and if
they are likely to foster, they get a small
amount of concentrate one to two weeks
before lambing.
Again, depending on conditions, ewes
will be fed concentrates for four weeks
after lambing. “Doing this keeps the milk
on the ewes and gives the lambs a good
start,” says Colin.” If they get a poor start,
its difficult for them to catch up.” he
Ewes carrying twins lamb outside and
triplet/single bearing ewes lamb inside,
with extra lambs fostered onto singles
where possible.
Twin Lamb has been a
problem in the past at
Carwood and despite
Blackface specialist,
Colin Wright
After scanning in January, ewes are
split and fed accordingly, with twins/
triplets getting a bit of haylage if the
weather is hard. They receive an 18%
ewe roll fed on the ground from
a snacker for eight weeks
before lambing. Singles only
using a feed bucket, he was still getting
cases, especially in the triplets. “It’s a
fine balance to get the feeding right, feed
too much and they’ll put out their lamb
bed, feed too little and you’ll get Twin
For the last two years, Colin has fed
Energyze Vitality, feeding for eight weeks
before lambing and had no cases of Twin
Lamb at all.
“In March last year, the ewes were
leaner and we had no Twin Lamb.We used
Vitality again this year and the results have
been just as good. They eat it at a good
pace, there’s a good balance between
palatability and consistency.”
Livelier lambs
“The lambs were livelier after they were
born, they seem to get up and suck no
Colin also breeds Suffolk tups and the
offspring from his flock of 40 are sold as
shearlings at Kelso. He is quite particular
in what he is looking for in the Suffolk,
choosing sheep with good silky, black hair
which he finds tend to milk better.
Harbro’s Clover Tri-Star RF Sheep
nuts & Alkacid are fed to the
Suffolk lambs and they are then
moved on to Kelso Tup & Lamb
nuts to give them that final
bloom. These highly digestible
‘rumen friendly’ feeds are
designed to promote rumen
health and consequently,
optimise growth and fertility
in pedigree sheep.
Fitter gimmers and
lambs at Bardnaclaven
Bardnaclaven is a well known name in
show and sale reports, often appearing at
the top for their weaned calves, lambs and
pedigree cattle and sheep. Very much a
family affair, DN Campbell & Sons is run
by brothers David and Johnnie and their
uncle David at Bardnaclaven, Thurso,
Caithness in the far north of Scotland.
Johnnie Campbell takes responsibility
for the sheep - 1300 split over two flocks
- and the pedigree cattle, a herd of 20
Simmentals and Charolais.
This last lambing was the first time that
he had used Energyze and spoke positively
of it, particularly in relation to the gimmers.
“We fed Energyze Vitality in the last five
weeks pre-lambing and it made the biggest
difference to the gimmers in our flock.The
gimmers and their lambs both had more
500 ewes are kept at Bardnaclaven, 150
pure North Country Cheviot with their
tups being sold at Quoybrae and 280 Texel
x Cheviot, crossed with the Suffolk for
prime lambs. There are also 35 pedigree
Suffolks and 35 pedigree Texels and the
lambs are sold on as shearlings.
Renowned breeders
The Campbell family were renowned
Border Leicester breeders but with a
slump in the demand for half breds, they
took the commercial decision in 2008 to
sell them and according to Johnnie, “we
haven’t looked back.”
A further 800 ewes are kept at
Brawlbin, Halkirk, and they are
predominantly North Country Cheviot
hill ewes, crossed with the Suffolk. Their
lambs are sold store through Quoybrae.
Bardnaclaven lambs are sold fat
season and the
Energyze Vitality
makes a big
difference to our
gimmers says
Johnnie Campbell
most of them are away by SeptemberOctober. The first draw of lambs was
made on 16th June at 12 weeks old, fed
only on milk and grass.
The flock at Bardnaclaven scanned at
186% in January – space is tight at
Bardnaclaven so twins and singles are run
together whilst triplets are kept separate.
“Anything empty is sold as we want to
save grass.” says Johnnie.
“We start feeding ewes after New Year
with home-grown Propcorned barley,
wheat dark grains. sugar beet pulp and
Harbro Grampian sheep minerals. Five to
six weeks before lambing, Energyze Vitality
is introduced along with the feed.”
Ewes at Bardnaclaven lamb inside starting
on 5th March, with intervention only if
required. The hill flock at Brawlbin lambs
outside from 10th April meaning a small
“At Brawlbin where the flock scanned
at 150%, we are seeing the benefits of
spending more money on a good hill tup
to breed our own replacements. We keep
all our own ewes and we have seen a big
improvement in the lambing ability.”
Whilst they don’t sell breeding ewes,
they are happy to get four crops from a
ewe and take the odd ewe to five crops.
“We would rather sell the ewes when
they are still fit, selling them as fat ewes
and getting a bit more for them.”
Fitter flock
Having a younger fitter flock meant
they only lost one ewe this year at
Brawlbin, compared to 25-30 ewes in
previous years.
The success at Bardnaclaven is down to
attention to detail paid to the flock
management and breeding policy, and
coupled with correct nutrition, has given
fitter gimmers and lambs.
“With Energyze Vitality, they all had
more energy, it reduced the time spent
handling and sucking and the lambs had
great vigour and get up and go.”
Contact Us
Harbro Sales Offices
Head Office: Turriff 01888 545200
Inverness 01463 701990
Lanarkshire 01555 820358
Yorkshire 01430 432121
North Scotland
Ian Anderson 07788 310 969
Derek Johnstone 07831 574 781
Derek Lamb 07787 434 098
Lynn Macarthur 07788 310 893
David Mackenzie 07831 093 617
Colin Roger 07824 151 437
Guy Sinclair 07831 391 104
John Smith 07769 678 528
John Taylor 07831 864 827
South Scotland
David Allan 07766 903 068
Billy Andrew 07771 641 656
Stuart Cameron 07766 903 072
Simon Dodds 07766 903 073
Ian Galloway 07788 316 011
Arol Hyslop 07785 287 831
Andrew Jardine 07788 316 056
Kirk Marshall 07741 310 261
Murray Smith 07741 311 949
Ian Watson 07970 710 114
Mike Jones 07774 449 111
Harvey May 07789 838 689
J&W Tait, Kirkwall 01856 873003
W&A Geddes, Wick 01955 602207
Nutritional Services • Forage Analysis • Ration Formulation • Animal Health Advice