Sheep management: Continue to monitor the breeding flock closely

With the breeding season into the latter stages for the majority of mid-season lambing flocks, the importance of continually monitoring the flock closely in the final few weeks of the breeding period is crucial.

Those that have their rams raddled should be changing the color of the raddle at the very least every two weeks.

At this stage in the breeding period, dark-colored markers are mainly being used on rams. If you are seeing a high number of ewes with dark-coloured markings on their backs then you should be concerned.

Teagasc says that if the number of repeats is greater than 15%, then it is most likely an indicator of a ram fertility issue.

However, there is time to address this issue if it is the case. There is potential to join groups of ewes up at this stage and this will mean less ram power will be required to cover any repeats.

Remove the ram if you suspect a fertility problem as well as rams with any physical issue. Ram lambs could also be pulled at this stage to avoid putting them under too much pressure in their first season.

When rams are removed from the ewes at the end of breeding they should be placed on a high plane of nutrition to regain body condition lost during mating – as up to 15% can be lost during a six-week mating season.