Low profitability and poor economic returns are common complaints from a number of commercial sheep farmers, yet many do not measure their production costs or monitor lamb performance. Disappointing growth rates have significant implications for the productivity of lamb-production enterprises, resulting in finishing flocks missing peaks in market prices, reduced uniformity in finished groups, fewer lambs finished preweaning, an increased ratio of lambs kept or sold as stores compared to those sold fat, and decreases in ewe lamb fertility performance. An understanding of expected growth rates and the monitoring of weight gains in the commercial sheep flock can have benefits for productivity and be used to inform flock health decisions. This article describes the importance of maximising growth rates in lambs and how this can be achieved.
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