Lambing time for stud and herd ewes: The Suidplaas steps
DOHNE MERINO, SHEEP FARMING | MARCH 19, 2019
It has been a busy time at Suidplaas Dohnes – with around 4,500 lambs born in recent weeks on the farm. And this keeps the team on their toes.
How we do things at Suidplaas:
Our Stud Ewes:
- Our stud ewes are impregnated via laparoscopic insemination.
- They are then scanned 35 days after artificial insemination.
- At this point, ewes with twins or triplets are separated from the group, to help us better manage them.
- 14 days after the laparoscopy, we add backup sires (for 10 days) to the stud ewes, to ensure they are covered.
- Ewes lamb in February and August (with insemination taking place in September and March).
- Ewes lamb in one of 700 ‘booths’ that Wynand built, where they are protected against the elements.
- Lambs and their mothers are then transported to better grazing, via a partitioned trailer.
- Our lambing percentage for our stud ewes is 169%.
Our Herd Ewes:
- Our herd ewes are impregnated naturally, with one ram selected for every 40 ewes.
- The ewes are scanned, and ewes with twins or triplets are put in separate camps. We place around 80 ewes with single lambs per camp, and around 45-60 ewes with twins and triplets per camp. This encourages strong mothering characteristics.
- Ewes lamb in February and August.
- Once they’re born, the lambs eat the grazing planted specially for them.
- Our herd ewe lambing percentage is 129%.
That makes our average lambing percentage 149% – which we’ve been able to maintain for the past NINE years.
The lambs of both the stud and herd ewes are weaned at 100 days.
Of the 4,500 lambs, only 20% of all the top tested animals are presented at one of the two annual auctions.
Wynand maintains his STRICT SELECTION CRITERIA: looking at fertility, reproduction, wool length and good conformation.