Excellent start to the lambing season on Co Down sheep unit

David Jardine farms with his brother Jonathan midway between Dromore and Dromara in Co Down. They run a combined commercial sheep and pedigree Limousin cattle enterprise with Jonathan the man having the primary interest in breeding the ewes and lambs.

This year’s lambing season is now in full swing with approximately one third of the 300 strong Mule flock now fully occupied with their new arrivals.

“To date 102 ewes have delivered 207 live lambs. This figure ties in with the scanning results. But it is still uplifting to see all the newborns doing so well,” David explained.

“For the most part, I put the tremendous fertility of the ewes this year down to the fact that we drenched the stock with Provita’s mineral and vitamin drench, Provitamin, initially in May and then again at the beginning of the autumn.  This was the first time that we had opted for an initial drench early in the year. Our thinking in so doing was to give the ewes a boost after the cold snap last March.”

Now David’s clear focus is on ensuring that the lambs get the best possible start. And with such a high lambing percentage, the challenge of coping with triplet lambs has to be addressed.

“All our triplets and many of the twins are offered Provita Colostrum immediately after birth,” he commented.

“Every lamb born on the farm also receives a shot of the Provita probiotic Response. We have found that this belt and braces approach sets the young lambs up well.  They have plenty of vitality and are keen to suck their mothers.

“Weather permitting, ewes and lambs are put out to grass as soon as possible after birth.”

Provita’s Tommy Armstrong and Kevin Kane, a Provita consultant, from the US called in at the Jardine farm earlier this week.

“Provita’s Lamb Colostrum is designed to have similar profile to natural colostrum and is easy to mix, which is especially important during the night. In light of this David Jardine considers the cost as being inexpensive, given that it helps improve the viability of numerous lambs,” he explained.

David Jardine again:

“I firmly believe that the use of the lamb colostrum, when combined with excellent hygiene and careful management, is critical to a successful lambing season. Since adopting this practice we have had no bother with problems such as watery mouth or scours.”

David concluded:

“This week’s good weather has helped our cause tremendously. The fields are drying up and there’s plenty of grass for the freshly lambed ewes to eat.

“There is another 200 ewes yet to lamb. Let’s hope the weather stays in our favour over the coming weeks.”
David purchased his Provita products at Farmline Agricultural Supplies. Provita products are available from all usual Provita stockists. For more information on Provita lambing products, contact your usual animal health supplier, call Provita on 028 8225 2352 or contact Tommy Armstrong on 07720101444.