May 2015

Lambing went well this year with very few problems. As usual about 90% lambed in the first cycle with one or two determined to drag it out to the last day. Our lambing percentage was a little down at about 1.75% (1.84% in 2014), which reflects the scanning numbers, which were also down. A number of other flocks have reported lower numbers this spring and one wonders if the recent wet years have had a negative impact on the trace elements in the autumn grass, or were the ewes a little fat on the abundant summer/autumn grass? With the help of excellent vet final year students, a friend’s daughter doing her Gold Duke of Edinburgh and my wife’s young niece everything went remarkably smoothly. Resulting in really good wet fostering records of over 90% being fully accepted. A really good team!

Apart from a very cold and wet beginning of April the subsequent weather has been near perfect for lambing. Last year’s ewe lambs have however been short of grass for most of the winter, but being typical of the Lleyn sheep this does not appear to have affected their condition. Rain post the May Bank holiday should solve the grass problem for now anyway.

We are now in the process of examining the lambing data in more depth, looking at birth weight patterns (Are the same ewes producing the lowest 10% by birth weight lambs? are there any ram patterns?). At the end of May we will be doing the important 8 week weights to properly assess ewe milk efficiency, while at the same time starting the Heptovax P cycle.