We’re setting into what is hopefully going to be the last of lambing for 2022.
It is getting to the stage where exhaustion is setting in too! I am beginning to yearn for a bit of a lie in.
Even with the early starts and waking up to check on the sheep in the middle of the night, I have still had the occasional scene of chaos.
After being up in the middle of the night to a quiet shed, I awoke early one morning early this week to find that I had six ewes and 18 lambs in the one pen!
All in all, it has run relatively smoothly this year
That has taken quite a bit of sorting out.
Ninety percent of the ewes have lambed down in a four-week period.
All in all, it has run relatively smoothly this year. Lamb birth weights have improved this year compared to last year with singles, couples and triplets or more, averaging 5.86kg, 4.75kg and 4.14kg respectively.
I will be using the lambing records to remove any ewes that underperform this year
Lamb mortality has also improved this year and is running somewhere around 2.5% less than last year. I will be using the lambing records to remove any ewes that underperform this year. The era of ewes floating around in the system without contributing to their keep is well and truly gone with the current price of inputs for the farm.
I will have to take a closer look at stocking levels on the farm as the year moves on, especially if the market doesn’t return a reasonable margin for investments I am making.
I love to see the lambs skipping and racing around the fields
The dry, sunny weather has also proven to be ideal for getting the ewes and their lambs out onto grass.
I have been able to get most out within 24-48 hours of lambing. I love to see the lambs skipping and racing around the fields, you really feel like you are in the season of spring.
Grass on the farm is reasonable at present. That being said, I will have to get out and do a full grass walk now that the lambing is coming to an end.
I have applied the fertiliser to the silage ground. It has received 2,000 gallons of pig slurry and three bags of 18-6-12.
With fertiliser prices where they are I am aiming on making high-quality silage in early to mid-May, depending on the weather.
Margins were already extremely tight for us
Irrespective of whether stock levels stay the same or get reduced, good quality silage is a lot cheaper to feed than ending up having to supplement ewes with a ration over the winter period.
The current financial stresses are a worry for all farmers.
Margins were already extremely tight for us. It is difficult to see where we can make additional savings to offset against these rising costs. It is important that we support each other to weather this storm.