How to creep out your lambs
Creep grazing is an inexpensive and simple way to get better weight gain on lambs, especially twins. Grazing experiments in NZ have shown:
• creep grazed lambs are up to 5kg heavier than those
not creep grazed; • creep grazing works best from when the lamb is 6 weeks of age until weaning.
There’s no annoying fence moves required either, just minor adjustments to a vertically barred gate (see below). Lambs can freely move through them and graze on fresh grass without having to compete against adult sheep, but are able to move back to rejoin their mothers for milk, protection and comfort when they need it.
The bonus: the small amount of grazing by the lambs tends to improve pasture regrowth, a benefit when the paddock is later opened up to adult grazing stock.
Lamb weights will start to respond in Week 7 as they got more used to (and hungry for) grass, but access through the gate should be allowed from Week 5 so the lambs have time to get used to it.
• painting creep gates orange makes it easier for lambs to find the gates – lambs can easily see the colour orange.
• mineral licks by the gates (placed as an
attraction) does not increase useage.
• creep grazing as a method is less successful on
steep, rolling country, especially in large paddocks.
• the best pasture mix for lamb weight gain is red clover and rape, both of which are more nutritious than grass.