Flushing/Breeding Considerations

Flushing is the increase of nutrition two to three weeks prior to the beginning of the breeding season. This is done to increase the ovulation rate and lambing rate. This can be accomplished by either turning the ewes out onto higher-quality pasture two or three weeks prior to turning the rams in with them. If you do not have the higher quality pasture then you can supplement the pasture with 0.5 to 1.0 pounds of grain per ewe per day.

Flushing should continue for at least three weeks after the rams are turned in with them. The first two weeks of mating are the most important nutritionally because this is the period when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus wall. Paying close attention to the dietary energy during this time will help maximize ovulatory and pregnancy rates.

Response to flushing can depend on the ewe's age, the season of the year, and body conditioning. Mature ewes respond better than younger ewes. Flushing mature ewes at the beginning or ending of the breeding season produces the best responses. Overconditioned ewes do not respond to flushing.