Teresa and Mike Lambing Thread Winter 2019 Part2

Mike CHS

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We just brought the oldest group of lambs down to the shop stall to get them sorted. The market is the pits right now but it will be 7 months before the youngest lambs (still nursing) can be bred and another 4 months before the oldest lambs can be bred so the rams have to go. When we wean the younger lambs we will put them in the dry lost for a bit to get them used to being handled then rinse and repeat with the remaining ram lambs.
 

Mike CHS

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They can be a pain but we will band a couple to butcher. The market was actually up this week so we did fairly good. Our first born ram was 80 days old and weighed in at 85 pounds. He is good looking enough that he actually sold as a ram rather than market ram lamb.
 

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Teresa did the math earlier today and our increase is a little over 150% which we are pleased with since 12 of the 20 ewes are yearling first timers.
150% is excellent lambing percentage with the number you have to lamb out. Especially since you said you have a lot of FF ewes. Normally young FF ewes have singles.

They can be a pain but we will band a couple to butcher. The market was actually up this week so we did fairly good. Our first born ram was 80 days old and weighed in at 85 pounds. He is good looking enough that he actually sold as a ram rather than market ram lamb.
80 days and 85 lbs! Congratulations. Terrific gain. Your hair sheep must be a lot bigger than the ones I have seen here in California. What is the desired slaughter weight for your lambs? Are they for the ethnic market? I heard that ethnic market buyers want smaller lambs (BBQ size) around 80 lbs. Here I have to raise to over 100 lbs. My buyers don't want BBQ lambs - they want them cut and wrapped for the freezer. I would love to be able sell smaller size lambs and get my ewes breeding back sooner.
 

Mike CHS

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The best market size here is 35 - 50 lbs but the best $ for the seller is 75-95. The larger sheep sell for about 10 cents a pound less but of course there is a whole lot more pounds. :)

There is a large ethnic market north and east of us which is where the larger buyers were from today. The largest ram lamb that we sold today went to a local farm. We sell a lot of year old and older sheep locally for the same reason as you do - the buyers want more meat and there is very little difference in cost to raise.

Several of our ewes were 140-165 pounds but most are in the 105-125 pound range.
 

Mike CHS

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Incredible rate of gain. Do you supplement or creep feed at all?
I creep feed the lambs at about 3/4 of a pound a day each until they are weaned. That adds about 7 dollars each to the cost but we can move them out so much faster doing it that way.
 

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Agreed. Creep feeding lambs when they are young means higher ADG early. Trying to put weight on later when the lambs are older costs more per lb. to put on.

Took our 3 lambs to the butcher this am. Heaviest lamb was the youngest at 4.7 months - a single wether weighing 118 lb. The other 2 were 4.9 months - twins weighing 112 and 116 lbs. Our butcher is 3rd generation and liked what he saw. He will evaluate the carcasses for me and let me know how they look. I showed him a picture of the ram I used and he had me email it to him to show the 4-H kids what they should be looking for in lambs. He buys a lot of lambs from the youth auctions and does all the butchering for 4 or 5 fairs in the surrounding 3 counties. He has been doing our lambs for the past 5 years.

I am just floating on a cloud now because he told me that I do the best job finishing lambs that he has seen in several years!

:weee :weee :weee :weee :weee :weee

He also said that us losing our lambs last year to the coyotes was not surprising. The fire hit through the 2 counties north of us as well and he said the beef producers all around were losing calves to coyotes. Packs of 15 or more were pulling the calves away as the cow was giving birth and killing the newborn calves. For 2 months he did not have to dispose of any offal since the ranchers were picking up boxes of it to make bait piles and shooting the coyotes. In one week they got 45 coyotes! Litters will be large this year since the rains have brought such luxuriant forage. Lots of food this year for them to raise pups. Last year with all the burned areas there were too many coyotes having to relocate to survive, and no prey. I am hoping with all the rabbits I have seen and the new growth that some of the packs have relocated back to their old grounds.
 
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