We are as good as done with lambing, one ewe left to go ... A total of 287 lambs were born, 243 of the lambs came from adults and 44 lambs came from 1 year old ewes. For adults we had 217% lambing rate and for 1 year old ewes we had a 138% lambing rate. Overall we had a 199% lambing rate for 2019.
At the end of the day we lambed 112 adult ewes and 32 yearling (12 months old at lambing) ewes. The breakdown of adult to yearling ewes and the birth types (1 - Single, 2 - Twin, 3 - Triplet and 4 - Quad) can be seen in the graph below.
We lambed ewes from 1 up to 7 years old, the breakdown of birth types by ewe age can be seen below.
We try to keep lambing season as short as possible. Lambs need to be born within 35 days of each other in order to be able to compare them as one group. You also have fewer health issues when lambs are of a similar age.
We started slow and ended slow and went real fast in the middle ...
Lambs - Gender
We had 56% ram lambs and 44% ewe lambs born. That was 161 ram lambs and 126 ewe lambs. To be honest at a point during lambing it felt like all the lambs born were ram lambs.
The imbalance of ram lambs to ewe lambs came from a few rams but was highest for Morgan (BUL 403), a yearling ram from Red Barn Katahdins that sired 27 ram lambs and only 8 ewe lambs.
Lambs - Birth Weight
We have a good idea of the genetic merit for birth weights for most of our ewes and rams so as part of breeding planning we try and allocate rams to ewes in a way that moderates the birth weight of the lambs produced. Nature sometimes have its own plans.
The graph below shows the average birth weight of single ewe lambs (1-E), single ram lambs (1-R), twin ewe lambs (2-E) etc. for each sire we used.
Now it is time to see how the lambs grow on 100% grass/forage, how much milk ewes can produce on 100% on grass/forage and how well the lambs do when the parasite load is high enough and we take the first fecal egg counts.