Better profitability when selling two lambs per ewe

Colm and Enda Mc Aleer run a small purebred and commercial flock near Dungannon. They have a nucleus of 20 purebred Suffolk ewes and 40 commercial Suffolk Mule crosses and Mule’s.

“We are aiming for a good wide and long sheep with good power and style for the pedigree side of the flock”, said Enda. The flock is run under the prefix Kerrib Suffolks.

“We lamb the purebreds around Christmas and the commercials end of February to end of March. Our scan was always around 1.7 but we wanted to try and get this higher to improve profitability. Previously we had just used boluses to boost fertility which do a great job in maintaining mineral and trace element levels. However we felt there was potential to boost performance even more by increasing minerals, vitamins and trace elements to even higher levels. So in addition to the boluses we tried Provita’s multivitamin mineral drench with copper, ProVitaMin. Ewes were given 10 ml 4 weeks before tupping and just before lambing. We are also using it for flushing and AI to help accelerate flock development. We also used it for growing lambs,” commented Colm.

“You can have too much of a good thing, a lamb scan of 2.85 could qualify for this saying! We were pleasantly surprised by this scan however I have to admit it was difficult to deal with so many triples and quads. Ewes had better milk and lambs were lively and wanted to get up to suck quickly. In the past we found lambs to be a bit dopey but not this year, everything was healthier. Every ewe has reared two lambs and we also had 10 pets that we sold off as stores. If we have been setup better to deal with the pet lambs the number we sold per ewe could have been even higher. Most of our lambs are sold now with just 10 left to go.”

“Using ProVitaMin has boosted ewe and lamb performance in terms of fertility and growth rate. This has resulted in an extra ½ lamb per ewe sold for us this year. With lambs currently making good money this would be worth an extra £50 per ewe gross profit. Using ProVitaMin is very cost effective,” finished Colm