An athletic ram has scuppered some of our plans
The countdown to lambing for 2015 has begun. Only four weeks away from the due date and no matter how much you think you are prepared for the first arrivals and the beginning of lambing, sheep always somehow manage to scupper any organized plan.
This year the arrival of lambs five weeks earlier than planned is nothing short of a nuisance. An athletic ram that I have, managed to jump a ditch and double fences of wire to cover around 30 of my ewes. It could be worse - they are arriving safe and well, albeit at inconvenient times when I have other stuff to do.
It is ironic, however, that despite not having received much feeding these ewes have lots of milk and the lambs are a healthy size.
Perhaps we can get too preoccupied with pumping feed into them in the run up to lambing, but they are in good condition which is clearly helping the situation.
Scanning went really well. I averaged 1.95 lambs per ewe throughout the main flock and 1.3 for the ewe lambs. I include all the empties when making these calculations.
I had been thinking about keeping the barren ewes. Research from Athenry has shown that the chances of them being barren again are very slim but I went through them to find that most of them were quite old so I kept two and sold the rest.
Te high prices for cull ewes were a help, and I can always keep a few extra of my own ewe lambs next year to replace them.