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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Lambing time & rotational grazing

We bought 95 ewes early this year that were meant to be dry. A few weeks ago, they had produced 133 lambs that we marked. For the past week, the next batch of lambs from our own rams have started to hit the ground. Lots of twins so far each day with about 250-300 more ewes still to lamb in the coming weeks.

People ask me about rotational grazing during lambing. We haven't stopped moving them from paddock to paddock just because they are lambing. The ewes that are off on their own giving birth when we are moving them are left there for a day or two, but all the others are moved into the next paddock. So far, we have not had any orphans, but no doubt they will come.

Sometimes we just open the gate and let the mob walk through at their leisure, but that usually only takes a few minutes before they start walking their way through. Usually all of the lambs come through with the ewes. At the most, we might have 10 lambs on the wrong side of the fence from their mums. We sometimes take some time to herd them into the paddock with their mums, but more often we just check back later in the day and find that the mums have either come and retrieved their lambs, or the lambs have made their own way into the next paddock.

The mothering instincts from the Ultrawhite ewes and the dorper crosses that we have are definitely stronger than merinos. This is a trait that is at the top of our selection criteria.

On another subject, we are still waiting waiting waiting for the clover seed to arrive. It was ordered last August to arrive in early March. We are now in mid-May with the seed still not here, but we are told it is only days away. It will be sown as soon as we can, with some SE14 soil wetter to make sure it germinates in the non-wetting soil patches. Ryegrass was spread a few weeks ago with some fertiliser. Some urea was just spread yesterday (15th May 2019) before the rain today - 18mm so far.

We currently also have 1,250 skinny merino ewe & wether lambs on the property (~185ha arable) to fatten up and sell. We won't be keeping any of them and they are staying on their own set of paddocks. We got them cheap ($25-75) and they are fattening up very quickly. We will keep buying more and drafting off the fattest to utilise the pastures while I am cranking the pastures up, and while we keep building up our Ultrawhite ewe numbers. They should be bringing in some nice profits in the coming months. Our other mob of hairsheep ewes are being scanned on 10th June. We have about 2,500 sheep on the property at the moment, with many new lambs each day being born.

The lambing mob 15th May 2019.

Part of the lambing mob - ultrawhite ewes that are due to lamb any day now.

A near neighbour is bringing a bluegum farm back into pasture. Our front paddock (Alpha) in the foreground.

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