About 65% of the mature breeding hind's life is associated with pregnancy and this is a dynamic process with changing feed requirements. Mature hinds (115-130kg LWT) increase their energy requirement during pregnancy and this should be reflected in farmer’s management (see feed budgeting).
- 1.8-2 kg/hd/day of DM intake at week 18
- Increasing to 2.6-2.8 kg/hd/day of DM intake at week 30
- Restriction of feed supply during late pregnancy can lengthen gestation and result in later calving. (see Reproduction)
The target over winter is to continue to maintain live weight of the hinds plus support the growing foetus. The voluntary intake of hinds increases rapidly in the last third of pregnancy and is reflected in increased hind liveweight of up to 20% (including foetus).
Hinds under feed stress are more susceptible to animal health issues. Farmers should be feeding in advance of forecast severe weather events.