Sheep: Focus shifts to the show season and breeding
Shows and sales, along with ewe and ram preparation, are all hot topics on the farm for the month of August and September.
I have gone through the ewes that I have kept for breeding and have separated the thinner ewes and they are getting preferential treatment. They will be given good quality grass for a longer period on the run up to going to the ram.
All ewes will be summer dipped in the coming days to help prevent fly strike and also to help keep skin and fleece condition healthy. This is also part of my programme of events for preparing ewes for breeding.
In addition, ewes will be dosed for mineral deficiencies and any worming carried out if necessary.
I find it is important to have these jobs done well in advance of breeding time as not to disturb either ewe or ram during the season.
Cull ewes will be sold this week and all focus can now be put into preparing ewes and rams for next year's crop of lambs. All the rams have gotten the once over. I find that it is important to do this earlier than the ewes as ram fertility and sperm production can be affected seven to eight weeks before mating.
Rams' hooves, legs and body condition were assessed and rams received a mineral dose, and they will all get some feeding of concentrates pre-tupping.
Rams need to be in good body condition pre-breeding as they will eat very little once with ewes and will lose body condition in a short period of time.