Ewe lamb segregation: A significant issue each spring is ewe lambs destined for slaughter turning up in lamb. This is an animal welfare concern, as ewe lambs are typically not suitable for breeding, while unsuitable breeds are often the sires of these pregnancies. These situations at best end up with lost performance in ewe lambs, but regularly lead to veterinary intervention, lamb mortality and a hogget that realises a lower sale value.
Now is the time to take action to ensure these issues do not materialise. Segregating ewe lambs and male lambs is the optimum management practice at this time of year. There is often a tendency to leave light ewe lambs running with male lambs at this stage, due to the belief that they are too light to go in lamb. Ewe lambs will reach puberty at a lighter weight as the year progresses and therefore the risk of ewe lambs going in lamb increases significantly.