2022 Lambing Summary
2022 was one of our more challenging lambing years, our hay was the worst quality we ever had and then we had a flood in the barn that spoiled a large quantity of the bottom layer of hay. We raise sheep on only perennial pasture and local hay (no supplementation other than minerals), that means you have to work with what you get and treat the challenges as an opportunity to identify animals that are well adapted to your system.
We lambed a total of 163 ewes of which 42 were 1 year old, 52 were 2 year old and 69 were 3 years or older at lambing. A total of 306 lambs were born.
Lambing started two days earlier than expected and did not take long to get to full speed. The largest number of lambs born on one day was 32 on 3/23. We try to keep the lambing window as short as possible in order to manage all the lambs the same and be able to compare them in the same contemporary group.
We had a 51.31% ewe lambs and 48.68% ram lambs born.
This year the 1 and 2 year old ewes were a little bit more prolific than previous years with the 3+ year old ewes being a little bit less prolific than historically. We are happy that we had no quads this year but we did have our first yearling with triplets.
Overall we had 46 singles, 182 twins and 78 triplet lambs born.
This years hay quality was reflected in the birth weights. The graph above shows the average birth weights by dam age (1,2 or 3+) by lamb gender broken out for each birth type (BT).
We were able to keep to the minimum lambing rate of 200% for our 3+ year old ewes which we are happy about and we did not have any quads which we are very happy about.
The lambing rates were: 138% for 1 year old, 200% for 2 year old and 209% for 3+ year old ewes.
Lambing is done and now it is time to make sure we get the most out of grazing. We were able to start to graze part time to transition from hay to grass on 4/30 and full time grazing started 5/9 (so happy to be out of the barn and the sheep were happy as well).