All the attention is on this year's lamb crop
Ewes have been scanned and divided into groups according to the number of lambs they are carrying and their condition score. From the 623 ewes served by AI, we have 531 in-lamb, which works out at very close to 85pc.
That is the best result we have ever had since starting to use AI. These ewes are carrying a lamb crop of over 1.85 lambs per ewe, made up of 100 triplets, 271 twins and 160 singles.
This works out at over 50pc with twins, 30pc with singles, and 20pc with triplets. I would like to have more twins and less triplets and singles, but how we can achieve this I just don't know.
From my experience, when the lambing rate increases over 1.7 lambs per ewe, the number of triplets increases a lot more than the number of twins.
This means you need more labour for fostering lambs and looking after smaller lambs from these multiple births. The only thing that we can do is divide off the triplets and start to feed them early.
We have been feeding them since the end of December, which is 10 weeks before lambing.
This extra few weeks of feeding will give us stronger lambs, keep the ewe in good order before she lambs and ensure that she has at least enough milk to rear two lambs.
We are also feeding two pens of twin-bearing ewes that are in poor condition. We will start feeding all the remaining twins nest week, which will be six weeks before lambing. We are using a three-way mix of barley, soya hulls and maize gluten.