ARE ‘ewe’ ready for lambing? Find out at the Dumfries Monitor Farm winter meeting next week.
Preparing for lambing and ensuring it goes well is the focus of the event, to which all sheep producers are invited.
Graham Lofthouse, who runs the Bankhouse Flock near Galashiels, will talk about ‘Best practice at lambing for a successful outcome’. His session will cover nutrition, target body condition scores, what data to capture that makes a difference, health, hygiene and post-lambing management, as well as talking about where your time is best spent.
Graham has moved his system over the past 13 years from a high-input flock of Texel ewes to a flock of lightweight Easycare composite ewes, which are lambed outdoors in April. The farm has achieved performances which now include an average scanning percentage of 171 per cent, barren rates below three per cent, and a rearing percentage of 157 per cent. Over a number of years, the farm has averaged lamb losses from lambing to sale of eight per cent or less; the industry average for Scotland is 15 per cent. In addition, vet Ali Haggerty from Stewartry Veterinary Centre will discuss lambing losses and a new project on the topic which will be undertaken through the Monitor Farm programme at Barnbackle.
Monitor farmer Richard McCornick and his family run the 500-acre beef and sheep unit at Barnbackle, which includes 700 Texel x Mule ewes. The farm’s Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP), produced by SAC as part of the Monitor Farm programme, highlighted lambing losses as an area for focus. Ali will be explaining what the project will involve and the impact it aims to have.
Monitor Farm south cluster adviser Maura Wilson said: “The aims of this afternoon are to help producers prepare for a successful lambing, and to talk about some of the key areas which can help boost flock and farm performance. It will be great to hear from two very practical speakers about what can be done to make lambing season a success.”
The meeting is on Thursday 7 December at 2 pm at Wallets Marts, Castle Douglas, and booking is essential at https://areEWEreadyforlambing.eventbrite.co.uk