Wean lambs now
SHEEP producers should wean lambs now to help manage ewes which may be becoming over-fat.
According to ADAS sheep specialist Lesley Stubbings, rapid grass growth following recent rain means ewes are in danger of putting on too much condition.
"It is difficult to get condition off ewes once they are over-fat, which will make flushing before tupping tricky. After weaning, tight stocking will slow them down, but ewes in good condition may need to be housed and held on straw and water."
Housing may also help drying-off, which may be more difficult with good grass availability, but Ms Stubbings stresses that housed ewes must have access to water.
Producers should also consider what pasture to wean lambs on to.
"Aftermath is ideal – and there should be plenty about after this week. But where lambs are going onto other pasture ensure sward height is 6-8cm; lambs will not go forward on taller swards so topping may be required." Worm burden must also be considered and lambs dosed accordingly.
and Ms Stubbings warns that aftermaths grazed by sheep before shutting up for silage will not be clean.