Sheep: Stockholm tar on the lambs was enough to out-fox the predators
Published 06/04/2016 | 02:30
The main lambing is over for another year, and I can't say I'm sorry to see the end of it.
Now I've half the repeat ewes lambed and mostly just the hoggets left.
It all kicked off on March 1 with all ewes in-lamb to AI lambed by March 14. I'd signed up to Sheep Ireland and this year data was collected under a series of headings.
Under lambing difficulty, it showed that 70pc of ewes lambed by themselves, there was slight difficulty with 20pc, which were mostly lambs presented at birth with just one leg and a head. In 10pc of cases there was severe difficulty generally caused by over-sized single lambs near the end of lambing or multiple births, with the lambs legs intertwined or two lambs heads coming together.
We had just one visit to the vet where the ewe was just not open enough to lamb and a Caesarean section was the only viable option.
The other traits were lamb vigour, lamb mortality, milkiness and mothering-ability of the ewe. I will address these in my next article.
Lamb birth weight was very satisfactory, especially the triplets with an average weight of 4.41kg, which shows how important it is to feed the triplet bearing ewes from the time you scan. The twin lambs were 4.47kg and singles 5.26kg.
The improvement in the weather from the end of the first week in March was our saving. Ground conditions were so wet that I was not able to transport the newborn lambs and their mothers to the fields using the jeep.