Sheep farmer on why shed space will be at a premium this spring
THE flock was scanned in the first few days in January when there was still some help about.
Overall the scan went well but there were more barren ewes than I would like. This is partly down to perhaps a large proportion of the ewes were sponged and AI’d.
A ram was running with these ewes up until a few weeks before scanning and I hope most of these are in lamb. After scanning, I let a ram run with the batch of empties. These ewes will be marked and a decision will be made later in the year on whether to keep them or not.
They will be re-scanned when I scan the ewe lambs next month. Overall the ewes scanned just under 1.6 lambs/ewe including empties on the Scotch Blackface flock. The higher number of empties brings this down a bit.
After scanning the ewes were separated into batches. The singles, couples and the triplets are all grouped together now and will be fed accordingly. Some older ewes will be grouped with the triplet ewes and will get some extra attention.
The ewes are all housed and are getting baled silage.
The first of the Bluefaced Leicester ewes will begin to lamb the last few days of February and are getting some concentrates along with the silage, minerals and vitamins.
The great advantage of scanning is separating the ewes for feeding. Ewes can be fed more accurately which will help avoid waste and also ensure both ewe and lambs are fed optimally during the last six weeks of gestation. This will help improve lamb size, colostrum quality and quantity which all have large knock on effects on lamb growth rates.