John Large: It's all systems go for lambing
With only 20 days before the start of lambing, all ewes to lamb first are housed and on a diet of meal and round baled haylage.
The triplets are on .75kg of meal being fed twice per day. The singles are on .4kg of meal and are fed once a day. The twins, who were only housed last week, are being slowly built up to .5kg of meal. We are feeding these ewes twice a day to get them used to the change in diet from all grass to meal and silage.
If we take our time with this change in diet we hope to avoid any digestive upsets which would lead to problems such as Twin Lamb Disease. The reason these ewes are not housed until now was because of the mild winter, we were able to get grass to graze that was sown after corn last autumn.
With good growth and ground conditions so dry for grazing, the ewes have done really well and are in very good condition. The only problem we had was ewes going on their back for the last few weeks.
There was a lot less work compared to feeding and bedding them inside. The only job we had there was fencing. We had to put two rows of poly wire around each field before we could put in the ewes.
All the ewes have been vaccinated with Covexin 10 at a rate of 1ml each.
This is a booster shot to increase the ewes antibodies which is passed on through her colostrum to the new born lambs which gives them immunity to prevent clostridial disease for the first six weeks of life. They can then be vaccinated themselves but be sure to give them two shots four weeks apart to get best results.
These vaccines work very well in sheep and are cost effective by decreasing the number of dead lambs in the first six weeks of life.