Tom Staunton: 'Learning the lessons from another lambing season'
As the lambing season comes to a close for us with the Lanark type ewe lambs and some Blackface ewes still to lamb, it's a good time to reflect on the ups and downs of this year's lambing.
The weather is one positive to take. A good winter left more grass for ewes and lambs all over the country. Having grass for ewes and lambs once they lamb takes so much pressure off the system.
Closing ground in time in the back-end and saving it for these ewes is important as is applying urea when suitable to kick-start growth.
Ewes lambed down with good bags of milk and I was very happy with how they performed on the meal mix they got before lambing. Different years bring different issues and no matter how prepared I am, something new will show up. I came across two apparently strong, healthy looking lambs dead last week.
All ewes were vaccinated for clostridial diseases. I still don't know what caused it.
Any ewes with lambing or post-lambing problems were tagged and will be culled later in the year and fattened for slaughter. Using records like these will help improve the flock over time.
Picking ewes that have good lambs, lamb unassisted, milk well and their lambs perform well are noted and will be used for breeding replacements.
The Bluefaced Leicester lambs are thriving well. It's only a few days since the last of them lambed. Lambing was more dragged out this year by not using AI.