Feeding before lambing
Feeding the ewe well in the weeks before lambing can help reduce first 24-hour lamb losses significantly. Ewes that have a good quality diet of high dry matter silage/hay and concentrates will fair better, it will help the developing lamb fetus grow and ensure the lamb has an adequate layer of fat to help provide energy for the first few hours after birth. Good feeding of the ewe will also help ensure that the lamb is vigorous when born, supplying the lamb with energy to help it stand and suck early. Continue reading “Reducing Lamb Losses in First 24hrs”
Approaching Trace Element deficiency in sheep
Animax’s Allsure sheep boluses are becoming the go to bolus for sheep farmers around the country.-the reason: trace element deficiency in sheep is increasingly becoming a problem. The signs associated with trace element deficiency can often subtle in onset and often present as poorly growing lambs during late summer or early autumn. There is also considerable interplay between factors such as seasonal changes in grass growth, diet and management for complexes such as Parasitic Gastro Enteritis (PGE) and trace element deficiency. As such it is important to consider and deal with all the issues including any parasitic problems. Continue reading “Allsure- Do you know what Trace Elements your Sheep Need?”
Many sheep farms are now in the final stretch of the pre-lambing period. High-quality care and management of ewes in the final 6 weeks of pregnancy are essential for good live birth rates and survival. Few people realise that 75% of lamb growth happens during this period. Farmers should be checking their flocks twice daily to check feed supplies are adequate and to observe ewe behaviours for any signs that may indicate illness. Illness at this stage could impact ewe and lamb, significantly impacting profits. One of the most frequent illnesses seen in flocks is Twin Lamb Disease. Continue reading “Twin Lamb Disease- Do you know what to do for your flock?”
Many farmers I know often say that reseeding grassland is only something for big dairy farmers; “I can’t afford that” is their call. However reseeding has many advantages and should be considered an essential for any and all livestock farmers.
There are many benefits of reseeding grassland for all farmers aiming to produce meat and/or milk at the lowest cost. Reseeding grassland on a farm brings positives to both the quantity and quality of grass grown. Continue reading “Reseeding Grassland: What’s the Benefits for your farm?”
A lot of farmers have been troubled by Coccidiosis, be it with lambs or Calves. Most simply ask a vet or a fellow farmer for advice on how to treat it. They never actually understand what it is they’re dealing with. So I decided to have a better look at what coccidiosis is and how we can avoid it on our farms. Continue reading “Coccidiosis- What is it really?”
With marts around the country facing hardships of increased insurance costs and reduced prices,not to mention more farmers deciding to sell direct to factories in the hopes of getting the best price for their animals, the countries marts are in danger of complete decline. However here at Agridirect we think that marts still have a lot to offer. Whether it is the sense of community, the thrill of outbidding a rival or the craic and gossip over a good canteen dinner, the mart is a great place to be. My favourite pastime as a young lad at the mart to was watching the different bidders in action. There was such a variation in bidding types I created a database to aid any newcomer decide what type of bidder they would like to be and to spot who was bidding against them. Continue reading “What Type of Mart Bidder are you?”
Keeping surplus lambs -Is it worth the Hassle?
With lambing in full swing for a lot of farmers the question that faces many is what to do with surplus or orphaned lambs. Do you sell them on for whatever you can get or do you rear them yourself? Studies undertaken by Teagasc and others have shown that lambs you rear can leave profit of between €16 and €50 behind. But to do so you have to look at it as another enterprise and not just as keeping pets for the kids. Continue reading “Keeping Surplus Lambs – Is it worth the Hassle?”
Lambing time is fast approaching on many mid-season lambing flocks and farmers are starting to prepare their sheds, fixing up their lambing pens and replenishing their stocks of lambing essentials. Lubricating gel, iodine, marker spray and tail rings are being ticked off the list of requirements. Stores of colostrum are being put on stand-by. We are totally focused on the future lambing down of ewes, on how to keep lamb losses to a minimum and making sure we cover all our bases. This leaves us susceptible to overlooking the jobs that need to be done in here and now.
Continue reading “Lambing Time; Have you Vaccinated Your Flock?”
It’s coming to that time of year again when sheep farmers are thinking about the mating season for their flocks. Most people are looking to the future lambing period and thinking about getting the timing right so they’re lambing at a time that suits. They’re considering how long or short a lambing period they are aiming for, what market they want to have lambs ready for and whether they are going to lamb indoors or out. While all these are important things to think about, there is an air of “counting your chickens before they hatch” about it. I used to be one of these sheep farmers, thinking solely about letting the ram out based on when I could be confident of having grass for the lambs when born. I knew that the ewes had to be in good order at tupping but as long as they had grass in front of them from three weeks out for flushing, I was happy enough to throw the ram in and let nature take care of the rest. However this attitude eventually caught up with me. Continue reading “Pre Tupping Time”
Climate change is wreaking havoc on our farming communities the past few years, particularly this year. A wet winter and spring followed by this drought, leaving fodder reserves at crisis point. This has now spread to bedding with problems looming for the coming winter. A video circulating on social media showing farmers queuing up to take pre-purchased bales straight from the back of a baler says it all! Yet despite the challenges we will have to provide animals and calves in particular with a ‘dry lie’ next winter. With straw at a premium it is worthwhile looking at viable alternatives to use, especially peat, slats for calves and rubber mats in calving pens. Continue reading “Alternatives to straw bedding”