We need a spurt of growth for the lambs to thrive
Published 20/05/2015 | 02:30
After the last few weeks of cold nights and plenty of rain, grass growth has slowed down. We are not under pressure yet for grass but we could do with a good spurt of growth soon as lambs are getting older and starting to consume bigger quantities of grass.
We are dividing paddocks with electric netting and moving on after three days. This time last year we were getting four days grazing from the same area. The lambs have access to the next paddock, this gives them the best of the grass available, if they had the brains to go out through the creep-gate. We often leave a few ewes into the next paddock, this helps to coax the lambs in with them.
All the lambs were dosed on April 23 with a white drench. We seem to have got it right, just as the nematodirus forecast from the Department of Agriculture was issued and, more importantly, all dirty lambs drying up the day after dosing. Ewes and lambs were also put through the foot-bath.
We used a solution of 5pc zinc sulphate, again with good results. The dry weather helps the zinc to dry onto their feet after foot-bathing.
It is important to stand the sheep in a dry clean area after they have been put through the foot-bath for at least half an hour. This way the zinc sulphate stays on their feet and is not removed when they are let out onto grass.
Any ewes that showed signs of lameness were treated individually by having their feet paired and sprayed with a bluestone mix.
This is the time of year to keep on top of lameness and prevent it becoming an issue for the rest of the summer.
Untreated scald now will develop into a lot of foot problems later, which will result in very poor growth rate in lambs, leads to slow sales with a lot of lambs left at the back-end of the year when you do not need them around. Just remember the saying, "a lamb on three legs will not thrive".