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General sheep thread



  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭Jd310

    An early born lamb would have to be fed on to get the Easter market, the only reason for lambing this time of year

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,265 ✭✭✭jfh

    I lamb this time of year for work commitments, more time now but I get what you are saying

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Price doesn't be long dropping after easter as you're still competing with the hogget trade,

    Though the last few years we've had Ramadan to support prices

  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    I lamb my few ewes at the end of January as it suits to get a week off work then..I give the lambs a bit of creep but wouldn't push them too hard..usually sell the end of May..

  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    On another topic I gave a question for ye on here.

    Which would have more nutritional value.. excellent hay made in 2022.or. average hay made in September 2023..

    Hard to tell without testing I suppose but would be interested in people's opinions.

    Both stored in a good dry airy shed

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,582 ✭✭✭White Clover

    Good hay will stay good for 2 or 3 years so I’d give them the 2022 hay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭Sami23

    Scanned 30 Ewe's there Saturday:

    20 x Twins

    7 x Singles

    1 x Triplet

    2 x Empty

    Was disappointed to have two empty in such a small flock. One was a 4th crop Ewe and the other was a Hoggot I bought last September.

    I'll sell the 4th crop Ewe asap but debating keeping the Hoggot for another year as I paid €190 for her and be lucky to get €100 for her now I'd say.

    What do ye think are the chances that she would go in lamb next year ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,330 ✭✭✭DJ98

    What sheep feeding barriers do people find best?

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭joe35

    Is barley straw at 3.50 a small bale good value for bedding lambs on.

    I've 50 lambs in the shed average 40kg. I need bedding for them and will need bedding for about 80 ewes om planning on housing after scanning.

    How many bales roughly should I need

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    The guy that has my shed rented uses one 4 by 4 round bale per day with two hundred ewes, I use two round bales every five days with 70,

    a round bale has 8 - 10 bales in them.

    There's no cheap straw this year unless it's rotten.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭joe35

    What type of surface is in your shed wrangler. The farm/shed I'm renting has loose stone on very sandy ground. Hopefully it will limit the amount needed

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Concrete floor, I used to have stone under sheep in another shed and it was no better than concrete once the floor sealed up with dung.

    I dug it out eventually and put in Concrete

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭roosky

    I bought o Donovan’s last year, they are excellent. Full opening to the floor, too many designs have a section that the ewe has to jump to get out and they don’t like crossing it !

    only problem is O’Donovans are dear and have gone up even more in the last 12 months

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,984 ✭✭✭Kevhog1988

    What spacing would you lads reccomemd for feed barriers?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭Sami23

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,143 ✭✭✭Dinzee Conlee

    Only have a few, but have a similar situation.

    Debating keeping empties. Plan was to sell all empties. But like you say - sell em for maybe 100, and then have to replace come August for 150+

    My final decision will be made come April, as should be able to carry en easy enough til then. But if I feel be cheaper to keep than replace, will keep…

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    No one can tell you whether they'll go in lamb next year, we keep ewe lambs that don't go in lamb but anything older than that are culled

  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    How long was the ram out with the ewes? If he was long enough for the ewe to have been cycled and been tipped multiple times I would be wary of her in the future..if she was only tipped once and didn't hold I would be inclined to chance her you said it won't cost much to keep her for the year

  • Registered Users Posts: 676 ✭✭✭foxirl

    Ewes just housed. Have good hay but not a lot of it. Going to start giving them oats for a few weeks and then 18% nut. What amount would I need to be giving them when only getting a small bit of hay ( need a 4*4 round bale of hay to last 70 sheep 5 days ) Would rather spend the money on a nut as opposed to buying more hay. Will be scanning next week so can split ewes by no of lambs. I know @wrangler used to only feed nuts and a little straw so would be interested in what quantities you were feeding 10 weeks out and so on up to 1 week out. Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    My ewes are eight weeks out from lambing, and have been getting .5kg ration for the last two weeks, theyre scanned now and the triplets will be put up to .75kg now and then up to a kilo/day from four weeks out . the doubles will be built up to kilo/day at about four weeks out, you have to build up slowly and make sure they clear the trough in five minutes, very easy to sicken them in this system,

    Singles can get .5kg day now building up to .75kg/day at four weeks out and then 1kg/day at 2 weeks out

    As you get nearer to lambing you can build the multiples up to 1.3kg/day if they can take it. don't give them anymore than .5kg in a feed which means you'll be feeding three times day near lambing.

    Ration is far better for their digestion than nuts,

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  • Registered Users Posts: 676 ✭✭✭foxirl

    Thanks @wrangler. Appreciate your post.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,582 ✭✭✭White Clover

    Scanned 84 ewes.

    47 twins

    17 singles

    15 triplets

    1 quad

    4 empty

    190% if my sums are correct

    A lovely scan in one way but would prefer more twins of course! Disappointed with the 4 empty. They were with the one ram. I had them on a new bit of winter grazing post tipping and they went back a bit on it. I suspect some embryo loss there. One was an old sheep but others are 3 year olds.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,578 ✭✭✭Bleating Lamb

    Very prolific return,what breeds are ewes and ram?…….that was a lot of ewes to have with one ram.

    Most I would ever put with a mature ram would be 40-45.Generally use Suffolk rams here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,582 ✭✭✭White Clover

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, they were in 2 bunches of 42 with a ram in each bunch and I keep a spare ram too. Mostly Suffolk ewes now with some Belclare X Suffolk X Texel and a handful of Blue faced Leicester out of those Belclare X ewes. I have one 4 year old Cheviot X ewe that surprising scanned with triplets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,578 ✭✭✭Bleating Lamb

    Would have a good few Cheviot ewes and would always have a v good return of twins and 3 or 4 sets of triplets from them.There is an impression out there that they are not a very prolific breed but in my experience if you look after any ewes well and dose and give them minerals at right times you will get a good return of lambs.

    Post edited by Bleating Lamb on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,582 ✭✭✭White Clover

    My sample of Cheviots couldn't be any smaller so I wouldn't really know the breed. I actually checked back her history, she's actually a 5 year old, born in 2019, had a single as a ewe lamb, twins as a 2 year old, single as a 3 year old, twins last year and scanned with 3 this year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,877 ✭✭✭Dickie10

    i have 25 single bearing ewes, about 3 weeks out from start of lambing, would oats be a good feed for them? id like to get them milking well but dont want to blow up the lambs inside them giving them 18% ewe nut. also 30 ewe laambs lambing in late march early april, i want to keep the condition on them, but not have huge lambs there on fields that are skint but have a good run , just holding there own at minute but will prob start coming under pressure soon now there getting into second trimester. would oats be the job here?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,455 ✭✭✭

    Would you consider buying a bag of soya and sprinkle a handful on the oats..I'm not an expert

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,093 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    The advantage of feeding a good ration is that you get protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. You definitely won't overfeed the ewes that's three weeks from lambing by giving .5kg/day of ration.

    The others are difficult to prescribe for as we could get a good grass growth in the meantime and that'd drive lamb size in the ewes more than any ration , so maybe .25kg/day of ration now and give them .5kg/day for the last 3 weeks if there isn't much grass.

    If you look at the composition of oats, It's low energy, high fibre, and not a lot of protein. Yet a lot of farmers swear by oats.

    Indeed there's a good bit of oats in most good rations. Anyway that's my tuppence worth

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,877 ✭✭✭Dickie10

    yea i think ill start them on a small bit next week they are fine condition, bif backs like the table on them but i like to adopt on lambs from triplets to singles usually get 8 or 9 a year fixed up that way so i want them to have plenty of milk but not huge lambs. maybe lifeline buckets will drive on decent colostrum