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