Sheep advice: The groundwork is done so it's time to let nature take her course
We expect the first ewes to start lambing at Lyons any day now and the preparations are essentially complete at this stage.
We have the individual lambing pens set up, all our lambing essentials gathered and staff sorted out to assist with the data collection from a farm management and research point of view.
Given the compact nature of lambing at Lyons and the additional research activities ongoing, which means ewes and lambs may spend a few hours extra in the individual pens, we have one lambing pen for every five ewes lambing, though it always feels like we could use a little more.
These pens have a floor are of three square metres, are straw bedded and each pen has an individual concentrate feeder, water drinker (hand filled) and a forage feeder is shared between two pens.
We feed hay to the ewes in the lambing pens when possible as this makes it a little easier to keep the bedding clean and dry.
We do not clean out the pens between individual ewes (unless it becomes excessively wet due to water spillage, etc) but continually add fresh bedding and white lime is added after each ewe.
Our ewes and lambs will spend between 24-36 hours in these pens.
All lambs are tagged within the first 24 hours of life and their gender, birth weight and lamb vigour is recorded as part of the Sheep Ireland Central Progeny Test (CPT) program. Additional data on lambing difficulty, ewe behaviour and 'milkability' is also collected.