Flushing ewes on green feed
Using the flushing effect to increase ovulation
The “immediate flushing” effect involves providing ewes with a short term spike in energy four to six days prior to ovulation, resulting in increased ovulation and more multiple pregnancies. Flushing can be achieved using grain or live pastures. Lupin grain has traditionally been used because there is a low risk of grain poisoning, compared with other grains. However, the response to flushing can be variable, depending on the quantity and quality of the feed/supplement, previous nutrition and body condition of ewes. The Wagga Wagga team tested whether a flushing effect could be achieved at low cost by short-term grazing of ewes on summer active perennials at joining, thereby adding value to perennial systems and minimising the cost of feed for flushing.
Two experiments were undertaken – flushing in synchronised ewes and flushing in unsynchronised ewes.
Full details of this experiment, results, on-farm experiences and economic analysis are discussed on the More lambs from flushing on green feed page.
- EverGraze Exchange – Improving the survival of lambs
- EverGraze Key Message – Shelter improves lamb survival
- EverGraze Exchange – Short-term flushing increases ovulation
- EverGraze case study – Lucerne leads to more legs on the ground
- Wagga Wagga EverGraze key message – More lucerne increases production and profit
- Hamilton EverGraze Research: Lucerne reduces risk, provides options for livestock and prevents salinity
- EverGraze Who gets the green feed tactical management tool
- EverGraze Feed Budget and Rotation Planner
- EverGraze lucerne and chicory FOO gallery
- Warn L, Webb Ware J, Salmon L, Donnelly J, Alcock D (2006). Analysis of the profitability of sheep wool and meat enterprises in southern Australia. Final Report for Project 1.2.6. Sheep Co-operative Research Centre.
- Knight TW, Oldham CM, Lindsay DR (1975). Studies in ovine infertility in agricultural regions of Western Australia: The influence of a supplement of lupins (Lupinus angustifolius cv. Uniwhite) at joining on the reproductive performance of ewes. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 26, 567-575.
- King BJ, Robertson SM, Friend MA, Wilkins JF (2010). Short-term grazing of lucerne and chicory increases ovulation rate in synchronised Merino ewes. Animal Reproduction Science, 121, 242-248.
- Croker, K. P., Johns, M. A., and Johnson, T. J. (1985). Reproductive performance of Merino ewes supplemented with sweet lupin seed in southern Western Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 26, 567-575