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Edward Earle: Satisfactory returns for ewes in marts and factory

Following scanning of the ewes last week, we don’t keep ewes around the farm and find it better to move them on if they are not in-lamb, writes Edward Earle, sheep farmer.

We brought some ewes to the factory. The reason we bring some to the factory is we find it useful to get livers checked for any fluke damage. ICM Camolin were helpful in fairness when I was booking in the ewes.

I requested for livers to be checked. It was good to get feedback that there was no damage to the livers. I moved the remaining ewes through the mart and got a good price for them.

Edward Earle, sheep. sheep farmer, sheep farming, farming news, sheepdog, Farmer's Diary,

Preparing for lambing 2021

With the ewes now 8 weeks off lambing, we have them off on a small level of concentrates as part of our pre-lambing management.

We were satisfied with the scan rate coming in at 2.12%. Looking back at the previous few years, it’s promising to see that results have improved from 1.82 in 2018, 1.9 in 2019, 2.04 in 2020 and 2.12 in 2021.

Knowing the number of lambs the ewe is carrying allows for us to make decisions regarding concentrate feeding in sheep.

Ewes carrying triplets need more feed than doubles or singles. Singles won’t require the same feeding level as to prevent over big lambs.

We find it worthwhile to slowly introduce concentrates to ewes to avoid any sudden change to the ewe’s diet.

One important aspect of feeding concentrates is trough space. As most of our ewes are large lowlands, the recommended feeding space is 600mm. Ensuring there is adequate trough space allows room especially for any shy ewes in the bunch to eat.

Also, ensuring that there is a good flow of clean water as they will drink more with feeding concentrates.

We check that the drinkers are clean daily and not dirty form ewes faecal dropping, etc as we put the meal troughs out with ewes before feeding.

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