With strong lambs, milky ewes, good labour and a decent amount of grass, all we need is a couple of weeks' weather
With only two weeks to go before lambing begins, we hope to have the vast majority lambed by March 20. Most of these late lambing ewes will be ones that did not hold to AI.
Except for some late singles, we've now got all the ewes on meal. The triplets are getting 1.2kg of a 20pc crude protein mix of whole and rolled barley, soya hulls, citrus pulp and soya bean meal.
The twins get 1kg and the singles are on 0.4kg. Any ewes that are getting more than 0.5kg/day, such as the twins and triplets, are fed twice daily. The forage with this is hay that was made in 2011, so it is of good quality.
The amount of hay has been cut back for the last two weeks of pregnancy from three bales per day to two. We find that this helps to keep the number of ewes that prolapse to a minimum.
We treat any ewes that prolapse with 10ml of Penstrep and use a harness or rope to restrain any further problems. It is very important to mark these problem ewes so they are not in the flock for next year.
All ewes received their clostridial booster injection in early February. This will give protection to the lambs through antibodies they get from the ewes' colostrum.
This is a lamb's most important feed, and must be given in the first few hours of life. Of course, when you are lambing up to 50 ewes per day, it is not possible to make each lamb feed. So you need a strong lamb that gets up quickly and sucks by himself.
You also need ewes with plenty of milk, which is why we feed the ewes so strongly before lambing.