Sheep: We have had a bumper crop of lambs despite all the elements fired at us
Published 04/05/2016 | 02:30
How different each year can be. This time last year we were cutting out feeding meal to the ewe lambs that were rearing lambs.
This year we are feeding all the twin rearing ewes and all the ewe lambs. And with no change in the weather likely for the foreseeable future we will be feeding well into May.
We had enough grass for the month of March, but with regrowth very slow we decided to go in and feed meal at a rate of .5kg per head once a day.
We are feeding nuts onto the grass with a snacker. In hindsight we should have gone in a week earlier with the nuts.
Two groups of ewes are getting fodder-beet since the weather got dry as they are very tight on grass.
We will know how lambs are performing soon as they are due to be weighed the last week of April. We will dose them the same day and put all through the foot-bath as a few lambs are starting to get scald.
I know we have lost some lambs since turn-out mainly due to the two very wet weekends we got in early April. Even some big lambs, a month old, got cold from a combination of excessive rain and very wet ground conditions. Most recovered after a few hours under a heat lamp and a hot feed of electrolyte.
The ewe lambs and repeats started to lamb after St Patrick's Day. The fields saved for them have plenty of grass so we are probably lambing the main flock too early.