Multiple Bearing Ewes
The number of lambs born per ewe and the survival of those lambs are important factors in the economics of sheep production. Successfully weaned triplets provide higher gross returns than twins.
However, triplet survival rate is often 10-20% lower than that of twin or single-born lambs (Kerslake, 2010) and mortality rates can be as high as 29% (Kerslake et al., 2005). It is challenging for ewes carrying triplets to provide sufficient nutrition in late pregnancy, and lambs are often born smaller and more vulnerable as a result. Further demands are placed on the ewe during lactation, as she must provide milk for three lambs.
Providing triplet-bearing ewes with specific supplementation before and after lambing may improve lamb survival by improving the maternal health.