Getting ewe body condition score to a 3.5 average is now the focus
Now all ewes have been weaned and shorn. They are divided into three groups, the small number of ewes between condition score 2.0 and 2.5 are with the ewe lambs getting good grass. These ewes need plenty of grass and no hardship for the next 10 weeks. They need to put on about 12kgs before mating to get to their proper condition score of 3.5.
Some of these ewes may have been lame or maybe young ewes after rearing twin lambs and every effort should be made in the next two months to get these up in weight, we need to start now as a ewe puts on only around 1kg per week on grass.
The next group are from condition score 2.5 to 3.5. These ewes are grazing after the lambs and not being pushed hard to eat all the grass out as they need to put on some weight.
The last lot are ewes over 3.5. These don't need to gain any weight, just maintenance is required. They are grazing off a few paddocks that were not grazed out properly and have a butt of stemmy grass that needs a good cleaning out.
All ewes have been in the footbath and any that needed to have their feet trimmed were attended to. I find in this dry weather if you put in the effort of footbathing regularly you get good results and the benefit will be seen in better thrive, higher lamb litter size and a tighter lambing spread.
All three groups of ewes will be monitored and checked every fortnight as they are going through the footbath with ewes being moved to a different group as required. Groups one and two decreasing in number and group three increasing -- I hope.
The rams have also had their annual NCT test with feet checked, a mineral dose and a boaster shot of Heptivac-P. This should be done well in advance of the breeding season to give the ram a chance to put on weight, because he will walk a lot and not eat much for the first few weeks when they are out with the ewes.