Sheep: Ewe lambs came through their first season with flying colours
Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30
Lambing is all but finished with only 13 ewes left to lamb. The ewe-lambs gave very few problems with nearly all of them lambing by themselves and most taking to mothering the lambs. The ones that had twins were no bother but a few of them are finding the going tough to rear two lambs.
All the ewe-lambs are in one group and being fed 0.5kg of nuts per day in one feed. Their lambs have access to a creep-feeder but are not eating much yet.
When they are consuming nearly 250g per head per day we will cut back on the meal to their mothers and stop completely on May 1.
We will wean these lambs at 12 weeks to give their mothers plenty of recovery time before mating in October.
The repeat ewes lambed well, and with plenty of room in the sheds we were able to keep them inside for a week after lambing. This was a great addition when the days were so windy and wet and during the frosty nights. They are all outside now on grass only, having been fed 0.5kg for two weeks after turnout.
With very poor grass growth in March we fed all the twin ewes outside from St Patrick's Day until the middle of April. We used the same ration that they were on before lambing and then changed to a 18pc protein nut from our local co-op. This was fed at 0.5kg per day, which allowed the ewes to produce enough milk.
Since then the grass has started to grow and the lambs are starting to thrive. There is nothing better than watching groups of lambs running and playing in the evening sun, since this is a sure sign that they have enough to eat.
The singles got no meal and once they were lambed they were moved to the out-farm where they had enough grass. The late spring also saw fertiliser spreading delayed. We did not spread any until March 20 at a rate of two bags of 27-2.5-5 per acre.