Autumn of content continues as flock thrives
Published 26/10/2010 | 05:00
Grass growth for the past month has been exceptional so we still have plenty in front of the ewes and lambs. We hope to move the lambs to re-seeded, rented grazing, which is available to us from November until next March.
We are still not feeding meals and we feel that our lambs are thriving well.
We think the cobalt boluses have worked well as the lambs appear to have a healthy colour about them -- but we haven't monitored any weight gains to verify this.
For the past few weeks we have been flushing the mid-season (lowland ewes) and the rams were turned out with these on October 22.
The mountain ewes are still on the mountain as there is plenty of grazing left as a result of the favourable growing condition this year. We intend to bring these down during the first week of next month and, all going well, we will turn out the rams with these on November 5.
We have completed our ram purchases for this year by buying four hogget Scottish Blackface rams at the Kerry Blackface Breeders' annual show and sale on September 25 in Milltown Mart. The trade for these rams was exceptionally brisk this year and the average cost was €400/hd.
It is a requirement of the Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb Group that all the sires of next year's lambs are DNA tested. This is to provide the group with that extra traceability and it also prevents lambs from outside of the group being passed off as Ring of Kerry Quality Lambs.
To this end, we have had the samples taken from all our rams at this stage -- just in case one of them meets his maker during the mating period.