Tommy Boland: Measuring ewe efficiency has produced some surprising results
The recent rainfall is welcome at Lyons farm, as it is around the country. We are seeing grass growth recovering somewhat, and the rainfall was certainly timely for the Redstart, which was sown following the harvest of whole crop wheat on July 27th.
Redstart is a crop we have used for the sheep for a number of years now at Lyons, and we are always happy with the performance of the crop and lambs grazing it.
Grass growth while recovering is still very slow on parts of the farm where we are struggling to get into double digit growth. To put some context on this our grass growth was five times higher this week last year!
Twenty five lambs were sold at a price of €5 per kg up to 21kg carcass on July 19.
They achieved an average carcass weight of 20.4kg returning €100.44 per head. Lambs are being weighed again at the time of writing.
One and perhaps the only benefit of the lack of rain fall is the lower parasite burden at pasture and lambs are requiring less frequent drenching. We are happy enough with the lamb growth rates to-date as they are not receiving any concentrate supplementation.
Our attention is once again turning to sourcing replacement stock for the breeding flock.
At the moment, we are not retaining replacement, but purchasing replacements each year. After the difficult spring we had, much of our culling decisions were taken out of our hands with a lot of involuntary culling taking place, due to mastitis particularly.