Pre-tupping decisions lead to jump in lamb numbers

We are based outside Limavady and run over at current 320 ewes and 210 ewe lambs.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 10:54 am
Diane and Richard Blair
Diane and Richard Blair

We run horned ewes which we tip with the Blue Leicester rams and the cross bred ewe we tip with Rouge and Texel rams.

We put the rams out the end of September/start of October. We Lamb in two batches.

Diane, my sister wanted me to try the Mayo HealthCare All Guard Ewe bolus. It is a popular selling bolus at Steele Farm Supplies. With her feedback from the results the customers were getting, we both decided it was time to take the plunge, and see if we could achieve the same success other customers were reporting.

Diane had shown me the comparison of the All Guard Ewe versus using drenches, and I was confident that a bolus was the best choice for us. High cobalt supplementation in mineral drenches on our farm always yielded great results, so I was impressed that of the options available, the Mayo Health Care bolus had double the cobalt of other boluses. Although we footbath regularly, I think the Zinc was a great addition too.

I liked the heavy compact size of the bolus, making it easier for administration and less stressful for the sheep. By using the bolus it reduced the need to be handling the ewes from tipping to lambing, as we noticed the ewes stayed in better condition.

We used the All Guard Ewe 4in1 bolus which has no copper, four weeks prior to turning out the rams. I was delighted with the scanning results. We had a massive jump of 0.3 extra lambs a ewe, with a surge in the number of triplets. The lambs were more vigorous at birth and we had less work with them, as they were up and suckling themselves quickly.

The All Guard Ewe bolus lasts up to six months with a steady phased release for the ewe. Mineral Drenches are more of a short-term supplementation. This year we are going to combine the long-acting effect of the bolus, with the quick “Rocket fuel” action of the Tupmaster. Tupmaster is more than a chelated Vitamin/Mineral Drench, it also gives a massive energy boost to the ewe, to help overcome any hidden energy deficits in the ewe. Tupmaster has propylene glycol as it base, is given at 30 ml per ewe. Flushing the ewe with such a large amount of energy three weeks prior to tupping, should help ensure optimum ovulation for lamb numbers, and a lot tighter lambing period.

Mayo healthcare products are available in both the Ballymoney and Ballymena branches.