Tommy Boland: Scanning results in UCD farm indicate a bumper crop of triplets
The remaining 15 lambs (2pc of all lambs born) from the 2018 lambing season were sold on December 19.
It is policy at Lyons Farm, not to carry lambs into the new year and even though some of these lambs were well below the cut-off weight, they still returned an average sale price of just over €99. These lambs had an average kill out percentage of 47.5pc off redstart.
Ewes are currently grazing redstart having been scanned on December 27. The first group of 90 were housed yesterday (January 7) to facilitate a late pregnancy feeding trial, but the remainder will remain outdoors for another few weeks.
This year, we have moved away from mid-pregnancy shearing to allow us to keep ewes out later over winter, reducing the labour associated with feeding.
During my recent trip to New Zealand, I noted a lot of very late (by Irish standards) pregnancy shearing taking place, four to five weeks pre-lambing, and obviously no housing was taking place.
The motivation for this practice is to increase lamb vigour, and there did not seem to be issues with the ewes subsequently.
However, our recent experience at Lyons would suggest that even eight or nine weeks' wool regrowth might not be sufficient, depending on prevailing weather at the time of turnout.
The weather in the regions where I witnessed this late pregnancy shearing was a lot more benign than in many parts of Ireland during February and March.