Farming rollercoaster: great scan results and a trip to A&E
With Christmas and New Year festivities all behind us we are back into the usual routine of winter jobs. A quick change in the weather resulted in all ewes being housed over one week in mid-December.
Some of the ewes on beet-tops had enough left to eat for another two weeks but, with the heavy rain making underfoot conditions too wet and muddy, we decided to move them all indoors.
We left about 7ac of tops that were not eaten and we will put the empty and repeat ewes back out on this ground if weather conditions improve.
When we compare the date of housing with last year, about 30 days have been taken off the winter housing period thanks to good autumn grass growth and favourable weather for grazing.
The ewes are also in better condition than last year.
We scanned 622 ewes on December 31. The results are 101 ewes with triplets (16pc), 334 ewes with twins (54pc), 160 ewes with singles (26pc) and, most importantly, 27 empty ewes (4pc). There may even be a few of these empty ewes in lamb as three rams were not removed until we were housing one group of ewes.
A reduction in the number of empty ewes and a 6pc increase in the number of ewes carrying twins leaves us with a scan of 1.82 lambs per ewe to the ram. This is up from 1.75 lambs/ewe last year.
All ewes are being fed excellent quality hay. You would notice the difference when feeding with the tractor and straw shredder -- the machines are under no pressure and there is no dust.