Mule ewes scanned at 1.93 lambs per ewe, with the Blackface ewes at 1.56
Published 23/01/2013 | 06:00
With spring just around the corner, my preparation for the lambing season has begun. All of the lambing sheds have been power-hosed and disinfected, penning has been assembled and adoption crates and infrared lamps resurrected.
With the lambing of our pedigree Blue-faced Leicester ewes just weeks away, I wait in anticipation to see what this year's lambing season will bring.
I hope that the investment and breeding decisions of last autumn will pay off and lambing will pass with as little trouble as possible.
The scanning of the ewes took place on December 28. I am quite pleased with the results, since reports around the country showed that early lambing flocks scanned 0.2-0.3 of a lamb less than last year.
My flock scanned on a par with last year. The Mule ewes scanned 1.93 lambs per ewe and the Blackface Mountain ewes 1.56 lambs per ewe. There were 12 barren ewes, equating to about 4pc of the flock.
A Blackface ram was running with these ewes up until scanning, so I expect the majority of these to be in lamb when we re-scan in February.
I find the scanning results useful for separating the singles, twins and triplet-bearing ewes and feeding them accordingly. I use records of when I changed the raddle marking of the ram to allow me to begin feeding the ewes eight weeks before lambing.
I do this to fuel the big increase in foetal growth that occurs during this period. I believe that this ensures a healthy and vigorous lamb at birth, and that ewes will have a good supply of colostrum after lambing.