Irish Independent - Farming - - FARM OUR -

THE last of the wether lambs have been moved in­doors for fat­ten­ing. They started out­side on a small amount of con­cen­trates and have been build­ing up slowly on the high maize ra­tion.

These lambs were all foot­bathed on go­ing into the shed. It’s a straw bed­ded shed and they will have ac­cess to hay but will prob­a­bly eat very lit­tle of this as the level of con­cen­trates rise. The ra­tion used is a high en­ergy ra­tion with good lev­els of ce­re­als and it worked well for me last year. Many of the lambs that are for fat­ten­ing are La­nark-type Black­faces that will fat­ten quite well with good con­for­ma­tion.

It’s im­por­tant to slowly ad­just lambs from an all-grass diet to a grass and meal diet or even a diet with mostly meal. Prob­lems can arise with ru­mi­nal aci­do­sis where lambs get sick from eat­ing too much meal, get sore feet and can scour. They need plenty of clean wa­ter and plenty of fresh straw bed­ding to keep them clean for the fac­tory. They were also dosed for fluke and worms a week be­fore they were housed.

The rams that are run­ning with the ewes are hold­ing well. Many of the ewes are cov­ered at this stage. Rad­dle has been changed to a dark red on the rams to see if there are any re­peats.

It is im­por­tant to be vig­i­lant now and make sure if there are re­peats to re­act and change rams. De­lay­ing this will lengthen the lamb­ing sea­son. Some of the ram lambs that are out with ewes will be taken up ear­lier than the more ma­ture rams. This

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