Get your sheep census in to avoid a potentially hefty fine
Storm Eleanor gave us a reminder that it's a long time until June 1 and the start of our official 'summer'.
The scanning has gone well at 1.9 lambs per ewe. The challenge now is to get the lambs onto the ground alive and well.
Over the last number of years, I have found that I have been scanning well, but regardless of my best efforts the best lambing result I can achieve is 1.65 so something was clearly wrong.
My scanner, Gerry Rice, is a top scanner and mistakes are seldom made.
Most deaths at lambing are recorded and I've a fair idea generally what lambs don't make it and why.
What I have discovered is that there has been an underlying problem with abortion in the flock affecting the amount of lambs born.
Re-absorptions mean that some ewes that were previously scanned in lamb ultimately proved to be barren. This is why I have been vaccinating for enzootic and toxoplasma abortion for the last number of years and I expect that this should result in more live lambs on the ground. Time will tell.
In the meantime, I'll divide the sheep up into their different groups based on the amount of lambs they are carrying.