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).