We have seen some exceptional lamb survival results this year within our clientbase. In fact, the best we have ever seen. This doesn't just happen by chance. We had some horrible weather events thrown into the mix as well, but well prepared ewes, and well prepared paddocks produced the results.
Consistently the keys to success once again were
- Ewe condition score 3.3 or above for twin bearing ewes
- Feed on offer of at least 1500kg for twin bearing ewes. Only possible through lambing at the right time, having the right pasture species, and manipulating where required with urea or gibberelic acid.
- Mob sizes as small as possible for twin bearing ewes - best results in mobs of less than 100. Can still be achieved on a large scale through the use of hot wires to split paddocks
- The right genetics
- Shelter where possible. Remembering that cutting wind speed where the sheep actually are is the critical point. Expecting sheep to "find" shelter is unrealistic. If they are actively "seeking" shelter then we know things are bad, and focus has moved from maternal behaviour to survival mode for herself. Simply having a significant amount of feed on on offer can reduce wind speed at ground level and provide some protection for newborn lambs.
Every lambing is an opportunity to learn, and do things even better next year!