I have been lambing, but lambs are arriving slowly. I really like the look of the lambs we have on the ground. But the lambs are stretched out in time of arriving.
There are a couple of factors for the lambs being stretched out. One, we had our rams in with the ewes since the last lambing in July. I did not have pens to put the rams in since I was feeding up some ram lambs as show lambs. Second, our ewes were too fat to conceive. We had to put the ewes on a diet before they would get pregnant.
At the end of 2021 we found a supplement that puts weight on our sheep. Getting the right amount of supplement to keep the weight at a set point has been a trial and error situation.
We also did not flush our ewes. The rams were with the ewes during lambing and after weaning. No separation of the ram from the ewes and no flushing of the ewes before breeding.
We had to put the sheep on hay in August due to the drought, hay and the supplement. Prior they were only on pasture. They gained weight and we changed the amount of supplement. Then in December, with the rain and warm weather of November we once more had pasture. To save on hay, we put the ewes on pasture and off of hay.
The dates for this lambing is November 2022 thru March 2023. It will be a drawn out lambing. Then I will get lambs weaned, and ewes flushed to be bred once more. I do like to breed in small groups. I have been building pens to put small groups of ewes together with rams once the ewes have been flushed.
Currently, the ewes are all together, pregnant ewes, ewes with lambs and young replacement ewes not old enough to be bred. The ewes go out to pasture everyday for as long as we have pasture. I am thankful for the November and December rains and warm temperatures, as the hay I purchased for winter feed is lasting much longer.
The breeding rams are in their pen being fed hay and some grain supplement. The show lambs are in a different pen being fed hay and grain. The show lambs will go to a show/sale in April 2023. But in month, I will have two more ram lambs to join them.
The cycle of moving sheep, weaning lambs, breeding ewes and lambing continues throughout the year. My calendar is always busy with something to do.