News / Lambing
Jack Foulks and his Family farm in Anglesey running a flock of 3,000 Suffolk cross Texel cross mule breeding ewes lambing in February.
Due to a high rainfall area lambing takes place indoors between the months of January and early April, with the majority of lambs born in February. Ewes are housed from the start of December. “Before implementing the Pruex 5 point plan in 2019 we did
have a problem with E Coli scours in the lambs and numerous cases of joint ill. We didn’t loose many lambs, but did have to use more antibiotics than we’d want to limit the problem.” Said Jack. Each lamb was given an oral antibiotic treatment along with a penicillin injection. “Our successes in reducing our issues aren’t purely down to using Pruex products to ensure a dry bed, clean air and pure water, we have also worked on the nutrition of the ewes with the renowned vet Kate Hovers. Getting all things right can make a real difference. Since we’ve used the Pruex Water Plus treatment via a dosatron and misted our bedding with Pruex Stabiliser, the E Coli scours have stopped and we have also ended the problematic blanket treatment of antibiotics.” Said Jack
The ewes bedding is noticeably dryer. “When Aled told me to use a liquid product to dry up the bedding, if I’m honest, to start with I didn’t believe him, but it really does dry up the bedding. We don’t use a great deal less straw but I think that’s because the ewes seem to eat more of it than they used to. We aim to keep the ewes as clean as possible and the Pruex Stabiliser certainly helps in that respect”
Ingram Family Logie Durno
The Ingram’s are well known across the UK and further afield for their sheep enterprise at Logie Durno farm in Inverurie. The 3,500 strong ewe base of pedigree and cross breed ewes produce over 800 rams annually that are sold at their on farm sale, national society sales and NSA sales. The family produce rams for both the maternal and terminal market, with the pedigree and terminal flocks lambed indoors from December, with the indoor lambing concluding at the end of April.
“The family being well known and respected within the industry are drivers of positive change to outdated practices” says Aled Davies founder of Pruex.
Ewes are lambed on a mix of straw and sawdust beds with ewes spending as little time indoors as possible. They are brought indoors once the first ewe from that cycle lambs outdoors. Ewes are lambed indoors for ease of management and for ease of data capture such as birth weights, parental details and ease of lambing recorded prior to turnout.
Gregor Ingram approached Pruex in 2019 with the aim of limiting antibiotic, chemical use and input cost, with a focus on preventing rather than curing disease.
The Pruex Five Point Plan was adopted in 2019: • Water Plus treatment was applied via the farms borehole treating the whole water system. • Pruex Stabiliser was misted daily on the bedding, loose pens and individual mothering pens. • No corners were missed with the pet lamb group on a shepherdess feeding system also being treated.
The big difference seen by Gregor and the family was the reduction in the mastitis cases on the farm both immediately in the lambing shed and following turn out. “We had hardly any mastitis this year in the ewes, as toxic bacteria pressure was reduced. The ewes seemed to be leaving the shed a lot cleaner and healthier, and they have remained healthy throughout the year with the lambs and ewes also performing well.” The farm even noted an improvement in the pet lambs with “batches weaning off the machines cleaner and healthier with much improved performance following weaning,” said Gregor.
The focus for the 2020 season will be to drive down antibiotic usage on the farm by further reducing the mastitis cases as well as a focus on lameness within the flock.” This should be a big focus for sheep farmers across the UK” states Gregor. “The family being well known and respected within the industry are drivers of positive change to outdated practices” says Aled Davies founder of Pruex.