We are done with lambing for this year and thought this might be a good time to summarize the results of lambing season (for ourselves or anybody else that might be interested), we had a total of 136 lambs.
This was our first year breeding ewe lambs and were surprised that all but one of our ewe lambs got pregnant, we did not expect such a high success rate. The ewe lambs were 1 year old at lambing an made up 19% of the ewes that lambed this year. Below are the percentages of the other ages that lambed. The one and two year old ewes made up more than 50% of the ewes. And yes, we do have a few 8 year old ewes that are still productive.
Overall we had a 200% lambing rate. Below we have the breakdown of lambing rate by ewe age. Numbers are based on all ewes exposed to the rams independent of weather they took or not. One of the ewe lambs exposed did not take, she had Meningeal Worm, she dragged down the numbers of the 1 year old ewes a bit.
It is important to us that ewes get pregnant during their first estrus cycle exposed to the ram (17 day estrus cycles). We grazed the ewes and rams on opposite sides of the road to get everybody ready and "in the mood" for breeding. By day 16 after lambing started 97% of ewes have lambed.
This was the first year we had quads. We did expect a large percentage of singles because we bred so many young ewes.
We castrated some of the males that would not make good breeding stock. So combining Wethers and Rams we have a nice clean 50/50 split between male and female lambs.
Average birth weight by birth type and sire was interesting (even though there was some self selection by us choosing which ewes went with each ram in the breeding rotation). The difference between the different rams were very clear and consistent and matched the actual size differences in the rams as well.
Now we need to get the lambs to grow and manage our selection process for the ram lambs we are planning to sell as breeding stock. We are really excited about the ram lambs selection, there will be a lot of fecal egg count testing but that is the only way to know if you have the parasite resistance we are looking for, they also need to grow well.