Christmas is coming and the lambs are getting fat
November is generally a quiet time of the year for me on the farm. The last of the lambs are gradually coming fit and it is good to see light at the end of the tunnel as I move to clear them out.
I aim to have all of them gone before Christmas. There isn't much hope of finishing lambs off grass at this stage of the year so the remaining lambs have ad lib access to meal. These are mostly the lambs that were born in April to the ewe hoggets.
It is good to get the extra few euro for these lambs and Teagasc recommend that you should breed replacement ewe lambs as it adds to the bottom line. It is true that it makes sense financially, but at what cost physically?
I find that while lambing ewe lambs boosts income it certainly takes a toll on you in the spring. You are just finished the hectic lambing of the main flock and then you have to face in to lambing the ewe lambs. You're physically and mentally exhausted at this stage.
I also have the added responsibility of the dairy heifers that require a lot of work in May with A I so for me it is prudent to not breed my ewe lambs for this year. I'll let you know how I get on.
When I let the rams out on October 10 I also rang my scanner to book him in early January. I don't intend to let the barren ewes hang around for too long and I'll cull them straight away. At the time, I'll be sure to get their livers checked for fluke and if there is a problem I'll dose them.
I find scanning is absolutely crucial. You divide up the ewes based on what lambs they are carrying. It is vital to know this.
You cannot successfully manage them in the run up to lambing unless you know the amount of lambs they are carrying.