I weigh my lambs when they are born. I try to weigh them at 30 days, but did not get the task accomplished with this group of lambs. I try to weigh at weaning, again I failed to weigh the lambs a day or two after I wean them. Yesterday, I finally weighed the weaned lambs.
Why is it important to weigh the lambs at 30 days, at weaning and 30 days after weaning? I want to see how my lambs are growing. The rate of growth or weight gain tells me if the lambs are getting enough to eat.
Weighing at birth is the base weight. The weight at 30 days lets me know how well the ewe is milking and the quality of her milk with out the expense of laboratory tests on her milk. I take the weight at 30 days and subtract the birth weight, then divide by the number of days the lamb has been on the ground. This calculation gives the sheep farmer the weight the lamb is gaining per day.
Weighing at weaning is the same, calculation on using the current weight. Current weight subtract the 30 day weight, then divide by the number of days between the two dates of weighing, to get the daily weight gain. This daily weight gain gives the sheep farmer an ideal on how well the lamb is adjusting to sheep feed. The lamb has started to eat sheep food, as well as nurse the ewe. At 60 days the ewe’s milk is slowing down, and the lamb has to eat more feed.
I wean at I wean at eight weeks or 60 days. I weigh 30 days after weaning to make sure my feed is supplying the proper nutrients and I am feeding enough feed.
Last year I changed feeds. I was weighing the lambs each week to make sure the I was feeding the right amount and the lambs were growing on the feed. I was also seeing if the new feed was working as well or better than the previous feed.
Yesterday, I weighed the lambs, the first time since birth. They are on mark with their weight and age. They are growing an average of .675 pounds per day.
Tracking the weight gain of the lambs let the sheep farmer know how every decision is working together or not. Is the ram producing the right growth weight? Is the ewe a good mother and milk producer? Is the feed meeting the lambs’ needs for growth and development? The weights at different times during growth of lambs gives the answer to the sheep farmer.