Lambing 2021 is well and truly in full swing, as we hear Steph tell us about her start to the lambing season.
We have had a fast start to lambing time this year; vasectomising a homebred shearling tup that didn’t quite reach the mark. He has really tightened up our lambing time with all bar a couple of sheep lambing within the first two weeks for our half bred flock – quite a difference to our usual slow start and spreading it out over a month. This has had numerous benefits, not least helping me book time off “VetTech”ing to help by knowing when we will be at our busiest.
We started lambing outside in the first week of March with constant rain and mud, however we were lucky and didn’t lose any lambs with the bad weather, and the flock were very considerate with not many lambing outside during the night (we anticipate this is just a one off!). One casualty we did have was from my flock of chevy mules due to watery mouth. I managed to nurse its mate back to health with lots of tube feeding, some medication and Rehydrion gel which I think gave the lamb a boost in the right direction.
Another perk of having a shorter lambing period of the half bred flock was that we had chance to give the lambing pens a good muck out, ready for a clean start for the flock of horned Swaledale sheep who start lambing in April.
Last year, we bought an older four year old Blueface Leicester tup for the Swaledales with the idea of breeding some mules as replacements. We also gave the teaser tup a run out with themas well, but quickly found that the old boy couldn’t keep up with how fast the teaser tup made them come a tipping! This meant we had a few of these breaking and so had borrow a tup from our neighbours to keep up to speed and this resulted in them lambing later than we would have liked. This makes me think using a teaser tup is great for a more compact lambing however if you have using an older tup it’s worth getting them tested to check they are fertile enough to keep up!