The easing of restrictions in movement throughout the county coincided well with the end of lambing, as the last of the stragglers have finished up with the only stock left in around the yard being the pet lambs.
Following the easing of restrictions, we got away from the farm for walks in different parts of the county. This has made a big difference in how I am feeling mentally.
The children’s sports activities resume this week too, so possibly I will go from having nowhere to go to returning to my role of taxi driver
It is always difficult to get away from the farm during lambing but as we were unable to get a break of any description prior, it seemed like the longest winter ever as each day ran into the other without the chance of a meal out or a weekend away.
Hopefully this is the start of a return to normality, even if on a gradual basis. The children’s sports activities resume this week too, so possibly I will go from having nowhere to go to returning to my role of taxi driver. I won’t complain though as it is wonderful to see these hopeful signs. The impact of physical activity and the camaraderie of sport cannot be understated.
There has been much talk of the excellent prices lamb and hoggets have been making, and about time too.
Moving lambs as soon as they come fit and not giving away discounted carcases over the summer is our only method of minimising the price drop
However, I am a little fearful of what will happen as the mid-season lamb the vast majority of us are producing, starts to come on stream in the next couple of months. The scarcity that is keeping prices up will disappear. Moving lambs as soon as they come fit and not giving away discounted carcases over the summer is our only method of minimising the price drop. We must ask if we need to add costs into our system by creep feeding lambs that will finish from grass at a lower cost or can you get the lambs finished before the price drops to the point that it is uneconomical to meal feed in the first place.
Grass growth on the farm has taken off in the last couple of weeks. Growth is at 48kg DM/ha/day and demand is at 54kg DM/ha/day. This is not including the 45ac removed from the grazing rotation for silage.
Last week we dosed the lambs from the first three mobs of ewes for nematodirus as they are all now at least seven weeks old and eating grass
I have applied 2,000gallons of pig slurry to these fields and plan to balance off the nutrient requirements with compound fertiliser this week. The hoggets are being used as a flying mob to clean out paddocks properly after the ewes with the lambs so as not to compromise the milking ability of the ewes by forcing them to graze paddocks out fully.
Last week we dosed the lambs from the first three mobs of ewes for nematodirus as they are all now at least seven weeks old and eating grass. We also weighed them as they were in the yard to monitor how well they are performing. All these weights were recorded by Sheep Ireland and will feed into their database for evaluating rams. The lamb weights between the different mobs were very similar, with 330g/head/day being the average growth but the difference between lambs was unreal, with some doing as high as 610g/head/day and others as low as 80g/head/day. The last mob of lambs is still too young to be consuming sufficient grass to be affected by nematodirus worms just yet but I will keep a close eye on them and they will be treated as the need arises.