Lambs are made at tupping time

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I have a flock of 400 plus ewes, just outside Madden, County Armagh, writes Denver McCall.

Apart from the breeding aspect, I have found that over the years the type of ground I flush my ewes out on, greatly influences scanning numbers. Through trial and error, I know which parts of my farm give me the higher scanning percentages. Making sure the ewes and rams are in the right body condition score pre tupping, is vital also.

I also look at the nutrition aspect carefully. I give a high energy propylene glycol mineral drench to the ewes.

It is my opinion that any liquid drench only stays in the system for 2-3 weeks, though the large amount of energy coupled with vitamins and minerals, gives a massive boost to the system and the ewes will be more likely to have a higher ovulation rate.

I look for drenches with propylene glycol as the main carrier ingredient, and then investigate which one has the optimum level of chelated minerals and vitamins.

Like the liquid drenches, I look for the best spec sheep bolus I can find. Last year, I trialled out the Mayo HealthCare “All Guard Ewe” bolus.

I was impressed with the results. I was lambing down at over 200%, compared to the other bolus where I was lambing down at 180%.

The lambing was easier, and the lambs came out of their water bags more effortlessly.

The ewes were fitter and in better condition.

I gave both the bolus and drench three weeks prior to tupping.

I used the Mayo Health care “All Guard ewe 5in1” bolus on the ewes. The Liquid drench used is “TUPMASTER” which also came from Mayo Healthcare. (See advert on page 16).