Breeding is less than three months away, but what you do now will determine the success or failure of the litters next March.
Weaning done, ewes dry and I’m busy scoring the herd for the October breeding season. I kill sheep all the time.
Culling is an ongoing process throughout the summer that removes ewes that are persistently lame, have trouble calving, are old or in poor condition and have problems with their milk supply. increase.
The rams had their paws washed regularly and were removed from the heat to avoid stress. An excessive increase in body temperature in rams can lead to infertility.
About 95% of a ram’s fertility can be determined visually. Lameness, condition scores, brisket or chest pain can all affect fertility and it is imperative that these be addressed now.
Also, the semen that the ram is producing now will be used up in three months, so be careful.
We soaked the sheep. Kevin Sheridan, a local Oldcastle man, has a great mobile plunge soaking rig that makes the job efficient and stress-free for both the operator and the sheep.
Soaking really cleans the sheep, protects them from fly attacks, removes ectoparasites and protects them from scabs.
Over the last few years I have dedicated myself to breeding my own replacement strains from my Mule X ewes. I have found that Belclair, Suffolk, Texel, and Easycare ewes whose mothers are mules are exceptional breeding ewes.
By breeding my own livestock, I am protecting my herd from imported diseases. If you want to buy stock, quarantine them for a while, give them a foot bath, vaccinate them, make sure they’re healthy, and don’t threaten biosecurity.
Once a replacement lamb is selected, it is vaccinated against epidemic abortion, foot wax and clostridial disease to begin the process of assimilation into the herd.
This year I mostly keep EasyCare and Belclare X lambs. I am really impressed with the EasyCare variety. They are easy to manage, are good mothers, and produce a lot of milk, so they are worth considering.
Lambs continue to grow. Typhon is rocket fuel when it comes to finishing them, and you don’t have to buy meal after lamb to finish the lamb.
Finally, I’m not too concerned about the 25% agricultural emissions target we have to meet. We all have to do what we can. If it means you can get the same rewards by reducing your farm inventory, I’m all for it.
Farmers must be allowed to diversify, use solar or wind energy income streams, or develop side tourism businesses or non-agricultural jobs.
As one student I worked here said, every farm needs a “sideline” business to bring in some extra income.
John Fagan Farm, Garlandstown, Westmeath