Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Post Lambing Condition Score  (Read 2138 times)

steve_pr

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire Borders
Post Lambing Condition Score
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:32:13 pm »
Are we the only ones really struggling to get our ewes back to any sort of condition post lambing?  I'm looking to sell some on (with lambs at foot) but they are so low condition I wouldn't be prepared to sell yet - they almost feel like skin and bones (they have lots of wool so don't LOOK bad, but when you catch 'em and cop a feel it is a different story!


Lambs are growing well and putting on weight fast (a few stragglers) so I wonder if they are just sucking everything out of mum. We are feeding like crazy - rough mix, molasses, mineral licks, the last of our hay and haylage - just wish the grass would start growing! This time last year we were having problems keeping it under control, this year it barely seems to have got started (and what is there is wolfed down the moment it shoots by hungry mouths!).


If I were to score them they are mostly under 2, some by an almost embarrasing amount that I almost feel cruel but they are leaving rough mix in the trough they can't eat! No real signs of scouring or worms so I don't think there is a problem at that end. I know sheep have a disproprtionately large baby compared with other mammals so is this just the normal state of things post lambing when the grass is in short supply?


Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 02:37:12 pm »
I would say it depends on the breed, and what condition they were in over winter ... but yes :).
And assuming that they aren't suffering from Liver Fluke...they will flesh out when the grass comes through.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 02:59:02 pm »
I have the opposite issue of making sure they all get fit and trim over the next 4 months ready for flushing. It takes roughly 6 weeks to drop or gain a condition score so dont expect to see changes over night.
I dont know how old your lambs are but a ewes milk production peaks at 3 weeks. By 4 to 6 weeks 50%the lambs nutrition comes from other sources so you could start your lambs on creep if apropriate and look to wean a little earlier.
Most grazing animals bodies are designed to cope with both feast and famine but you may need to hang on to them for a few weeks longer than you had planned if you want to sell them with more condition.
I would suggest a wormer if you havent alredy done one along with a flukiside as the ewes imune sytem will be suppressed at this time. I worm at lambing then do a FEC later in the year.
Lastly a tub of lifeline ewe and lamb energy lick for 6 weeks after lambing will allow them to access usable energy on an ad lib basis.
 

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 03:22:45 pm »
I agree - the ewes will be feeding off their backs as grazing has been so poor for so long and the grass is very slow to get going.  A couple more weeks of reasonable weather and they'll soon begin to flesh out again.  Around here it's traditional to put the ewes on poor grazing after weaning and then flush them on good for three weeks before putting the tups in, to maximise fertility, but I think the folk who tried that last year will have a load of coat racks walking around the fields by now.   I aim for CS 3.5 by tupping for my Southdowns and 3 for the Badger Face - doesn't always happen that way but I'd rather they carried a bit too much condition than too little.

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 03:40:21 pm »
My ewes were in good nick at lambing time. They are like hat racks now - the few I have handled I would say CS 1.5 tops.

Still, lambs look good, and the ewes will pick up as soon as the grass comes.
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steve_pr

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire Borders
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 04:11:43 pm »
Commiserations - but that makes two of us at any rate!!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 04:37:29 pm »
Same here, thin ewes rearing lambs well but not yet putting condition back on themselves.

We caked throughout from tupping onwards, twice a day from when the snow came, where usually we wouldn't cake any but the thin ewes until close to lambing or even afterwards.  And all had been fluked and wormed regularly all year - the worms never died back until the snow came, and the fluke never died back in the very wet summer we had last year.

Once the grass comes they'll be due their next fluke dose, so after that and maybe an extra mineral drench as it's been such a hard year, hopefully they'll pick up.  Please let there be some  :sunshine: this year...
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

MrsJ

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Post Lambing Condition Score
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 05:15:05 pm »
Quote
Please let there be some  :sunshine: this year...
Ditto that!

 

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