Sheep: An ounce of breeding really is worth a tonne of feeding
There is no doubt but that winter has definitely arrived. The wet and windy spell has ensured ground conditions have deteriorated quite swiftly on the farm over the past number of weeks.
The breeding season was kind to ewes and rams weather-wise.
The rams are nearly redundant at this stage of the year and will soon be taken up and given time to recover and regain body condition lost over the mating period.
There are very few repeats at this stage and many of the ewes were covered over a three to four week period. If all goes well, we should have an intense few weeks of lambing in the springtime.
The grass growth was better than expected for the last few months and this has left good covers of grass for ewes for the winter. All of our ewes will be wintered outdoors and the Bluefaced Leicesters will be housed a few weeks before lambing.
Fields have been closed off and saved for spring grazing. The better sheltered fields are saved as these will give good shelter to ewes and lambs in spring.
It is tempting to graze these fields again but I know that the grass will be more valuable to me for ewes and lambs that will need the protection for outdoor lambing.
The Pedigree Bluefaced Leicester ewes will be scanned shortly. It seems that 75pc of ewes AI'd to frozen semen have not repeated.