The Central Progeny Test (CPT) ewes have been scanned and are all housed at this point, nearly a month later than last year.
Had the weather stayed dry for another while, I would have managed to hold out into the new year before having to do so, but I’ll take what we’ve got as it will already have saved a good bit of straw and silage.
The repeats and the dry hoggets are remaining outside for now as they are grazing on the rape.
This year, I will continue to use a total mixed ration (TMR) when feeding the ewes over the housing period as it worked extremely well in the last number of years and the reduction of the workload involved with feeding of the ewes, along with the reduction of stress on animals and myself at feeding time, has been a major benefit.
I have already picked out a number of ewes that are not in an ideal body condition to be moved to a separate pen to keep a close eye on
I will, however, have to keep a close eye on the ewes’ condition scores as if a ewe is gone off her feed, it can be a bit trickier to pick up compared to the traditional feeding of meal.
I have already picked out a number of ewes that are not in an ideal body condition to be moved to a separate pen to keep a close eye on and give some additional ration to try and build condition in time for lambing.
As always in January with the start of the new year, I will be spending a good bit of time in the farm office completing a number of paper exercises
The silage quality was tested to formulate an accurate feeding programme for the ewes and I am very happy with the quality of this year’s silage as it ranges from 75 to 79.6 DMD. I will use up the pit silage first as the last thing I want to be doing is trying to seal up a small bit of leftover after the winter, especially when the bales are great quality as well and are easier managed if left over.
As always in January with the start of the new year, I will be spending a good bit of time in the farm office completing a number of paper exercises. First up was the National Sheep Census which required us to take a count of the sheep and their age categories on 31 December.
These forms must be returned to the Department by 31 January by post or 14 February if completed online and are the basis for our stocking rate for the Sheep Welfare Scheme. So, if any of you haven’t filled yours in yet there still is time to complete it before the due date.
Secondly, we have the task of filling out a profit monitor for the farm. I fill one of these out every year and find it useful in helping to identify areas in which I can improve farm financial performance.
There is no point just throwing in any old figure, so for this to work properly spending time filling in the form as accurately as possible is the only way it will be useful. It will help in any decisions regarding the future direction of the farm to be profitable.
I have in the last number of years become less enthusiastic about how Teagasc publishes these figures as they are accessible by everyone, even the companies that supply our inputs and the factories that purchase our products. The gains in generating our profit monitor in this manner are diminished.
I plan on purchasing my 10-in-one vaccine along with a fluke dose for the ewes now
I feel that as we are paying for this service as part of our Teagasc contract, the results should be private unless we choose to make them available for public use.
I plan on purchasing my 10-in-one vaccine along with a fluke dose for the ewes now as I will be starting to vaccinate the first group before the end of this month, with the rest being vaccinated next month.
The ewe lambs will be getting two shots so I will start vaccinating them early this month also and then again later in February to make sure they have been vaccinated properly for the next year. Plenty to keep me busy and at home over the next few weeks.