Hilltown man talks pre-tupping decisions

Colum Woods and his children
Colum Woods and his children

I run an extensive flock of mainly Blackface-Lleyn cross ewes, with New Zealand Suffolk and Texel, just outside Hilltown, County Down.

I will be putting my tups out with the ewes mid-November, for lambing to start first week of April onwards.

So three weeks beforehand, on around the 22nd of October, I will be flushing my ewes onto good grass. At the same time I will Bolus them, give a Mineral/Vitamin drench, and worm them.

The Mournes is one of the many areas in Northern Ireland that is deficient in Cobalt and Selenium. My choice of long term supplementation is based on which bolus has the highest level of Cobalt and Selenium. Cobalt is responsible for energy production and without an adequate level of cobalt, I would be putting my ewes in an ENERGY STARVATION mode.

Again, this year, I will use the “All Guard Ewe 5in1” bolus. It has nearly double the cobalt of any other sheep bolus. The iodine and selenium were jointly the best spec I could find compared to other boluses. It helps that it has Zinc included as well.

I now use a mineral drench with Propylene Glycol as the main carrier. Secondly I made sure the drench has high levels of minerals and vitamins. Propylene glycol is a great form of energy and apart from encouraging better fertility rates, it helps to get the rumen function going. I found it gives a good quick bloom, and I used it on my lambs every two to three weeks this year too.

The All Guard Ewe bolus, gives me my long term insurance policy of the main trace elements I need on my farm.

The High Energy Mineral Drench I use is “TUPMASTER” which comes from Mayo HealthCare.

I sourced both the “All Guard Ewe” and Tupmaster from Paul, at Mayobridge Pharmacy, phone number: 028 30851000