Vaccination is a cost effective way of reducing mortality rate
We should be finished lambing by May 1. About half the ewe-lambs have lambed now. They performed well; the singles lambed mostly themselves and had enough milk for their lamb. They were only housed the end of March, got good bale silage and 250 grams of meal since being housed.
The twins received 0.6kg of meal, fed twice daily. These produced good-sized lambs and have enough milk to rear them - with some needing a little help from a bottle for the first few days.
We let out the singles with their lambs after two days. The twins remain in at night for a week. With the weather good we let them out by day beside the shed and put them back in at night.
We are meal feeding all hoggets rearing twins. We also have a creep feeder with the lambs. When the lambs start to eat and are consuming 250 grams per day, we will stop feeding their mothers.
The ewes that lambed in early March have been joined into bigger groups with four lots of 100 ewes rearing twins. This way we have better control over grass management with bigger groups eating out fields quickly and moving onto the next field after three or four days. We will also grow more grass and can take out extra ground for silage.
This year we had enough grass at turnout to feed the ewes, with no need for any meal. This reduced the workload and we also saved on the meal bill.
Some fields that were closed since late October had very heavy covers of grass on them. We found these hard to graze out on the first grazing, but we have given them a second grazing now and they are grazed down well.
The second lot of fertiliser went out onto all paddocks grazed. On April 1 we put out one bag of Pasture Sward per acre. Next job with these ewe-lambs is to weight, dose the lambs and put all through the foot-bath as some lambs are getting scald. This job will be done by May 1.