Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Now is the time to start dosing for nematodirus

Lambing season is coming to an end
Lambing season is coming to an end
John Fagan

John Fagan

Lambing is over and the tidy up begins. I hate leaving the place in a mess post-lambing as I like to leave everything back in its place ready for next year as soon as possible after the last lamb drops.

If I don't do this right away after lambing I find that I spend the rest of the year postponing it and it doesn't get done until the last minute. It drives me nuts.

Lambing went well. My ewe lambs weren't in lamb this year so it took a bit of pressure off.

I'm sure I'll miss not having the lambs to sell next November but I didn't miss the prolonged lambing season that results in lambing ewe hoggets. I will probably go back to lambing them next year, albeit in a shorter period of time.

I had a little bit of trouble with enzootic abortion this year. I sent away samples and they came back positive. So I am just going to vaccinate all replacements from now on for enzootic and toxoplasmosis. This will solve the problem.

The lambs are thriving well. I brought them in to foot bath them as they were picking up scalds. The zinc sulphate in the foot bath has to be between 5-10pc solution and I use a hydrometer to see exactly what is in it.

The hydrometer is a really useful tool for testing the solution of your foot bath. In fact it's essential.

If you don't know what is in the water then foot bathing can be a fruitless exercise.

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Some readers have contacted me to find out about the hydrometer and where to get one. I got mine from a friend who works in a science lab. So I will try to find out if I can get some more or point people in the right direction to get one.

I am going to dose the lambs for nematodirus next week. The Department has issued a warning that hatching has commenced and now is the time to start dosing.

I am going to leave it until the very latest possible moment before I dose.

The reason for this is because I live in the middle of the country and everything is that bit later because its colder here so I reckon nematode hatching is probably going to happen a little later also.

Down south and in milder parts of the country it will be sooner.

Also, it depends on the age of your lambs. If they are only freshly born there is probably no need to dose until mid May as they are not eating too much grass yet.

With the weather being so settled and the winter so mild I took the opportunity to reseed 20ac of poor performing grassland.

It is located on a low-lying part of the farm which is prone to getting slightly waterlogged in winter. It drains well however but it does need a different type of grass compared to the normal perennials that I sow.

You should always consider the type of ground you are working with when reseeding and talk to your seed merchants before purchasing.

Reseeding grassland is an expensive game, with the grass seed forming only a part of the cost.

I also included a kilo of clover in the mix to organically fix nitrogen into the sward.

Soil fertility is essential in reseeding so check your PH, generally I always spread two tonnes of lime per acre when reseeding.

Growing grass cheaply and abundantly is what puts money in our pockets so reseeding is a worthwhile project but you have to get it right and don't skimp on inputs.

John Fagan farms at Gartlandstown, Co Westmeath.

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