Edward Earle, Gorey, Co. Wexford, works as a quality engineer and farms over 300 ewes in partnership with his parents.
All the remaining lambs were weaned this week. It is great to get this job out of the way as now lambs will be prioritised for grazing the grass first.
While ewes are used to graze out the paddocks after the lambs have grazed first, thoughts are already turning to mating and having the ewes in good condition.
So, every 4 weeks we give the ewes a cobalt drench - we have done this for the last few years and we have seen a noticeable improvement in ewes.
Also, when lambs are weaned, it’s a good time to assess your flock’s health. This is something which is very valuable to your flock performance, as there is no point in carrying a ewe that is not delivering a return for you.
Ewes with missing teeth, problems at lambing such as prolapse, lack of colostrum/milk, blind teat are marked for selling or culling.
For a number of years, we would ‘we will give her another year’ and then come lambing time, she would either be getting down with twin lamb disease or maybe lambs would not be vigorous, so it is important to be tough on yourself when assessing ewes post-weaning.
On Tuesday, we took a set of faecal samples, which happens to be our first set under the Sheep Welfare Scheme measure that we choose to undertake.
Samples are collected in small tubes which have to be ordered from the testing lab.
We use the Irish Equine Centre for our testing. Results were low, but I expect to see a significant increase in next week or two as after all the recent rain and warm temperatures, there will be a burst in worm larvae numbers on the grass