We have had a busy autumn selling breeding stock. Over 250 females and 30 rams have been sold privately or through Breed Society Sales. Many customers return to buy breeding animals off the farm and therefore it is important that I have different bloodlines for them to choose from and that my records are accurate. Electronic identification and a good livestock management computer program is essential. I am fed up with taking bits of paper out to the field; which disintegrate and become unreadable, to answer customers questions on pedigree, performance figures, lambing history etc; that next year I will have a tablet computer with all the information to hand in one box.
The rams have been out with the ewes for the past month and ewe lambs are being tupped at the moment. The rams will be pulled out of the ewes next week and will be left in with the ewe lambs for another 16 days. 70% of the ewe lambs have gone to the ram already.
I have sold 90% of the fat lambs off grass. Usually I sell deadweight, however, in August/September when they should have graded at 40 – 44kg, they were that weight but did not have the flesh on them due to the wet summer. Consequently they have graded in the last 6 weeks at 45 – 55kgs. The deadweight only pays for carcases to 21kg deadweight (44kg live weight) and so I have been selling these lambs through the market. The higher weights mean I have been getting an acceptable price for the year and I have not had the extra cost of feeding expensive concentrate.
For the next couple of months I will be busy going around the grass fields repairing fences so that everything is ready for ewes and lambs next spring and catching up with paperwork during wet days.