Just what is flushing your nannies? Flushing means increasing the level of feed offered to the breeding nannies, mostly in the form of energy, starting approximately one month prior to the introduction of the billy. With the increased amount of feed offered, the nanny will begin to put on weight. This will then signal the nanny’s body that she will be capable of raising more than one kid. In turn this will increase her ovulation rate, which results in a higher kidding percentage or more kids born per nanny.
Increasing the energy level of the nanny should continue throughout the breeding season until a few weeks after the billy is removed. This will allow for the implantation of the fetuses in the uterus. Nannies that are in good to fair body condition will respond the best to flushing. This is where body condition becomes really important. Nannies that are in poor body condition will tend to be less responsive as will nannies that are too fat. Billies will also benefit from the extra energy in the ration because they will tend to lose less weight over the breeding season. In addition, they will maintain their vigor for breeding.
Energy levels in the ration can be increased by adding grain at a rate of about ½ pound per head per day or by moving the herd to lush pasture. Many farm managers underutilize these two methods; the best management practice would be to group nannies according to body condition and feed accordingly.