After the annual sheep scanning took place last week, the next task on Tullamore Farm was to winter shear and separate the ewes to prepare for housing and start the correct feeding regime for lambing season in eight weeks.

Winter shearing has been taking place over the last number of years on Tullamore Farm, with the main reason for shearing being to utilise space more efficiently in the shed.

There have been further benefits identified here at Tullamore Farm with the introduction of winter shearing. These include easier monitoring of ewe body condition and a heavier lamb at birth, which has had a positive effect on lamb mortality figures.

Shaun will start to feed the triplet-bearing ewes six weeks out from lambing, which means feeding will start on 1 February.

All ewes will be fed with a high-protein ration and good-quality silage, starting with triplets on the farm, followed by in-lamb ewes with twins and then followed by singles.

Ewes with triplets will be starting at 0.2 kg/day of concentrates in two weeks and will gradually build up to the rate of 1kg/day one week before lambing commences.

Ewes scanned with twins will start feeding six weeks out from lambing, but will receive fewer concentrates, with 0.7kg/day being fed 10 to 14 days prior to lambing.

FInally, singles will be moved indoors next week and will receive 0.5kg/head/day three weeks prior to lambing.

Farm manager Shaun Diver said: “In the last six weeks, lambs will do most of their growing in the ewe. This can place a huge demand on the ewe.

"Concentrates with soya can provide energy, which is important to prevent diseases such as twin lamb disease and also [to] maintain a good body condition in the ewe. This ensures good colostrum production at lambing.”

The next job on Tullamore Farm is to carry out the first grass walk of 2022. Stay tuned to for our next update from Tullamore Farm.