As I sit down to write, thankfully the majority of the ewes have lambed down, with only the repeat group of 130 ewes starting to do so now.
I find that this is the time that most losses will occur as ewes are not lambing with the same frequency as the main group, so you start doing other jobs around the farm during the day, and so less time is spent in the shed and night checks are not as frequent as a certain amount of fatigue is setting in.
In most cases, these losses will occur in the singles as lambs are starting to come big at this point. The tiredness is something that I don’t think I will ever get used to.
Thankfully, Mia and Drew are now at a stage where they can help a bit around the farm
There are points during the day where I am reminded of when the children were babies as you don’t know whether you are coming or going and relying heavily on strong cups of caffeine and grabbing a short nap at any opportunity.
Thankfully, Mia and Drew are now at a stage where they can help a bit around the farm. They love to help to feed the pets, taking the weaker ones under their wing.
The first two batches lambed in what can only be described as an orderly fashion, with a nice steady pace maintained throughout and no big bursts.
This was all the better as the weather was very disagreeable and ewes and lambs spent a number of days in grouping pens before we had opportunities to let them out to the fields.
This last group of ewes to lamb consists of the repeats from the previous two groups and they are due to lamb over the coming month of April.
The group of ewes that has lambed already has now been fully grouped up into their respective grazing mobs for the coming year
If the weather improves from what it is at the moment, I will consider letting the couples out into a paddock beside the yard to lamb in. This will hopefully reduce the workload associated with this group as well as stretching out the dwindling supply of straw and silage that is left over from the winter.
The group of ewes that has lambed already has now been fully grouped up into their respective grazing mobs for the coming year. There will be three large groups of mature ewes and one small group, which will consist of the repeat ewes.
Group size here on the farm is approximately 200 to 250 ewes, which allows me enough time to put them through the yard in a given day for treatments, while still allowing time for me to do other tasks around the farm on the same day or getting a second group through if only minimal treatments are required.
These larger groups are also beneficial to utilising and producing more grass on the farm as they have a residency period of three to four days in each paddock before moving to the next paddock, which allows for more grazings per field in the year.
I am planning on getting 2,000 gallons of pig slurry spread across some fields
As the ewe lambs were run dry again this year, they will act as a cleanup mob, moving around the farm to clean out fields to the desired residuals without putting too much pressure on the lactating ewes to do so.
I have also managed to get a bag of protected urea per acre applied to most of the fields across the farm with the exception of the river fields, which are still too soft to venture into with a tractor and spreader just yet.
I am planning on getting 2,000 gallons of pig slurry spread across some fields, which I hope to close off for silage. The switch to getting silage put into a pit last year for the first time in years made the whole winter-feeding period easier and I hope to try and make a little more for the pit this coming year.