What a difference a year makes as the mating season gets off to a great start
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, ewes and rams were sheltering from the rain, fields were flooded and there was a lot less grass to eat.
This year, the mating season has begun well. Rams and ewes are able to enjoy good growing conditions, which has left an abundance of grass on the farm.
The Blackface ewes that were artificially inseminated (AI) have returned to grass and a ram has been introduced to cover the repeats. Seventy ewes were inseminated in total, in two batches of 35. The day of AI ran smoothly and I'm hoping for a small number of repeats.
All the rams that are running with ewes have a raddle mark, which I smear across the ram's chests using a paint brush on a regular basis.
While I am topping up the raddle on the rams, I also give them 1kg of meal with a large amount of oats. I do this to ensure ram lambs stay in good shape and to make sure rams have more energy for searching though ewes. I keep a close eye on rams to check if they are healthy, and to ensure that they are tupping ewes correctly.
Yesterday, I sold 49 Mule wether lambs to Kepak Athleague through the South Mayo Quality Lamb Producer Group (SMQLPG).
This leaves me with less than 100 lambs left for finishing. The lambs that are left are in two different groups. One group is being meal fed and the other group is on good quality grass. Some lambs are scouring, which is not down to 'watery grass' but mainly due to the high levels of protein in grass.