Olympic Intermission – August 2012

We will make no comment on the weather except to say we were very lucky to get more than enough very good haylage at the end of June and hopefully enough hay a couple of weeks ago and a final field this week. Touch wood we don’t seem to have any feet problems, and our biweekly FEC seems to be indicating very low worm counts. (We wormed twice in June and early July). Shearing in the last week of June grabbing 2 fleeting days of dry weather has provided an opportunity to have a look at this year’s shearlings. I am pleased that they are again showing a high degree of confirmation consistency. We currently have a selection of about 14 shearling rams both pure bred and “Registered”, along with approximately 200 shearling ewes. When I remember, I feed the rams about 0.5kg of nuts from end December to March and again from the end July to the sales. I am a strong believer in breeding animals that can do everything off grass. However there is no denying that most of the market seems to look for well-fed rams prior to the sales. So I try and meet them half way! Please come and have look.

This will be the first year of the flock being Signet recorded. We will need a couple of years of data before a true picture becomes clear, but we can already start looking at Maternal Ability and 8 wk EBVs with some confidence. In the meantime data from FarmIT 3000 software again provides additional important evidence as to how well pure-bred Lleyn ewes get their lambs started. For example this year’s lambs’ 8 week weights (always room for improvement) in the 0.540 – 0.250 kgs Average Daily Weight Gain (ADWG) bracket:-

All lambs: 84% over 0.250kgs ADWG

Twins: 87% over 0.250kgs ADWG

This year we will be looking more closely at ewe efficiency by recording ewe weights at both weaning and tupping, which in conjunction with lamb weights will enable us to make a more critical assessment of ewe efficiency. We always screened our replacements by looking at 8 and 20 week growth rates, drawing only from twins, and from bloodlines that have no foot rot, mastitis and ideally good longevity.

Leave A Reply