Friday 1 April 2016

Spring 2016

14DG04650 - Foulrice Osprey, shorn late March - no need of wool to add shape to this boy.He has great width of loin with fleshing through from rump to shoulder. He stands well with plenty of width behind & not too heavy in front.We have some good December born lambs on the ground by him & his dam has yet again produced a full brother of similar characteristics.
December lambing was mad as usual with everything pretty well lambing in ten days, which is great for getting ewes & lambs into batches & preventing disease build up. A larger number of triplets & quads than usual meant that we had a bigger squad of pet lambs, but the machine under Valerie`s supervision worked admirably & having weaned them at 4 to 5 weeks of age the majority are on a par with those reared on the ewes. Silage has been better this winter so the ewes have milked better & not lost too much body condition, which is a help as our ewe culling is usually carried out at this time of year when the lambs are weaned & the trade is usually quite buoyant.
Winter has been somewhat wet & relatively mild keeping the grass unusually green, that is until March when it has come colder, the grass has gone backwards & just when we thought it was drying up nicely - guess what - it rained again ! Still I must admit there are many in other parts who have had far more water than us.
Last July at A.I. time with a few years having gone by we went back into the pot & inseminated a good batch of ewes with semen from Westonvale Jubilee XBB9016, so we are watching the progeny with interest to see how they measure up against our current team of stock rams.
Eight week weighing has come & gone with reams of paper arriving from Signet - mostly this is an indicator of how well the ewes have milked - the real telling time will be at 21 weeks when we weigh all the lambs again & take an ultrasound muscle depth measurement on the loin which is a better indicator of their own genetic potential. With all this taking place we are at the same time endeavouring to take out as spring butchers lambs any that will not make the grade as either rams or ewe replacements, so as to take advantage of the Easter trade.
We are making good progress with our March lambing of 130 ewe hogs - only about 20 left - & are really pleased with the offspring of the ram lambs that I mentioned in a previous post.
More news shortly - it`s time to visit the lambing shed again !