Our Farm: Tipp sheep farmer on success lambing ewe lambs
John Large farms at Gortnahoe, Co Tipperary
We have been busy over the last few weeks preparing ewes for the Central Progeny Test (CPT) AI. All ewes were sponged the first week of October.
At sponging time data was also collected on several traits, including ewe weight, body condition score, dag score and mastitis. We collected a DNA sample from each of the ewes also. All of this data will be vital in the development of the new health index.
The average weight of the ewes is 72.5kg, with an average body condition score (BCS) of 3.5 which is good at mating time. We also selected 15 ewes that showed signs of mastitis with lumps in their udders from an infection earlier in the year.
These ewes will be culled - we will have enough problems without keeping on these girls.
Once AI is completed (our last day is tomorrow), ewes will be divided into three groups and rams let in to cover the repeat ewes on October 27.
Our attention now turns to ewe lambs which we have already selected for the ram. They have had two injections for abortion, have been dosed for worms and have been administered a mineral dose.
We hope to lamb them with the repeat ewes just like last year. This suits us as we have space to put them in the shed. Ewe lambs tend to cause more issues at lambing time because they need more supervision than mature ewes.