The Uist New Entrants group were joined by SAC Sheep Specialist Poppy Frater to look at how to get the best from their Sheep Flock. With many crofters opting to keep their own replacements the importance of selecting replacements carefully for the desired traits was emphasised. Poppy went on to discuss the nutrition required by replacements and ewes on the run up to lambing. The meeting concluded with a look at flock health, this focussed on fluke and worms which are the primary health issues affecting many flocks in the Western Isles.
Poppy’s top tips for replacements:
- Define rules when selecting replacement ewe lambs, e.g. only retain ewe lambs that reach a certain weaning weight, born unassisted or suckled unaided. These should align with your flock goals.
- Ewe lambs should be 60% of mature weight before mating (45kg for 75kg mature ewes) and gimmers should be 80% (60kg for 75 kg ewes). If underweight you will compromise their future performance and the performance of their progeny
- Consider weaning gimmers at 10-12 weeks to provide adequate opportunity to gain weight for subsequent mating
- Breeding The Best Presentation, Poppy Frater
- A copy of the presentation Poppy Frater gave at the Western Isles New Entrants meeting in December 2017.
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