Lamb weights have to meet factory limits
The poor weather conditions are continuing to present problems, making grazing conditions difficult and impacting on lamb performance.
We are constantly hearing of new rainfall records being set, but there will be no records this year for grass-based lamb finishing. Following weaning last month, there has been a growth check for the lambs with growth rates from birth running at 215g/day.
Some of the grass-fed lambs and some concentrate-fed lambs were slaughtered last week but at the time of writing I don't have the factory data on these.
The concentrate-fed lambs are all repeats from the mid- season flock and, as you would expect, have significantly out-performed the grass fed lambs.
Due to the costs of the system I would not recommend it for finishing mid-season lamb, but it does highlight the growth potential that exists within the lamb when they are offered a high quality consistent diet, with minimal (or no) parasite challenge.
This is a message we can all take to managing our grass-fed lambs, bearing in mind the great imponderable that is the Irish weather.
Our ewes held up well during lactation and were weaned with an average body condition score (BCS) of 2.75 for the twins and 2.7 for the triplets (although the triplets were supplemented during early lactation).
Management activities on the farm are focussed on parasite control and foot-care, with our thoughts turning to preparation for the breeding season.