The rams have been turned out to the sychronised ewes
The rams turned out with the ewes this week at Lyons Farm. This will see us with a mean lambing date of March 12, 2018. Our ewes were once again synchronised this year using progestogen impregnated sponges.
This results in a very compact lambing season and also greatly increases the number of rams required at mating time. The reason for this increase in ram requirement is down to the fact that essentially all the ewes come on heat in the space of 48 hours.
Under commercial conditions a single ram can mate up to 125-150 ewes in a season, though more normally in Ireland a single ram will be expected to mate 40-50 ewes.
With a synchronisation program such as that practiced at Lyons we use one ram for each 10-12 ewes.
The ewe lambs were mated the previous Friday. We find this works well, to have the ewe lambs lambing prior to the main flock for a number of reasons.
Firstly, everyone is 'fresh' when the ewe lambs are lambing and lambing fatigue has not set in.
Secondly, there is opportunity to allow fostering of lambs from ewe lambs on to the mature ewes. This option does not exist where ewe lambs lamb after the ewes.
Lambs are continuing to perform well since their introduction to the redstart crop, which is a hybrid crop of kale and forage rape.