Preparing ewes for tupping

23 September 2016

Richard Smith's picture
Richard Smith

Preparing Ewes for Tupping

  • Richard explains that the lambs at Daylesford Farm are weaned from mid-August and the ewes, having worked hard all summer to rear the lambs, are likely to be in low condition.
  • When building the condition of the ewes for tupping, it is important to get them onto a rising plane of nutrition. If a ewe conceives a lamb and is then put onto poor quality forage she could reabsorb the lamb which can negatively affect end lambing percentages.
  • Richard explains how he condition scores his ewes regularly to try and achieve even condition, which is extremely important. A body weight of around 70kg is ideal at tupping time.
  • Ewes with a condition score of three go into one mob, and anything with a score of 2 - 2.5 will be put onto better grazing to improve their condition. Anything that is over-fat will be grazed on less nutritious fields.
  • Having ewes on a rising plane of nutrition when the tups go out will make a huge difference to lambing percentages. Richard says that last year he scanned at 195% and lambed at 189% which is very good. 
  • It's important to find out which minerals are missing on your farm. Richard gives his ewes a bolus containing selenium and cobalt and he says the condition of the ewes immediately alters for the better. Bolus treatments are given to the sheep twice a year - once in September and again in February. 
  • Although the condition of the ewes is paramount, it is also vital that the tups are in good condition. Check their feet - "you can judge a good farm by the way the tups are walking on their feet."

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