Lambing going well

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YV0NNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

Lambing is going well in Central Otago, with good grass growth and few cold spells, apart from the couple of days at the end of last week.

Ida Valley sheep, beef and deer farmer Cameron Nicolson said lambing was going well but there was an issue with cast ewes.

“We have been going around the ewes three times a day to try to stand them up,” Mr Nicolson said.

Depending on temperature and whether they were lying up or down hill, they could die within a couple of hours without attention.

“I’ve been talking to a few people who said cast sheep were pretty general.”

The lush grass growth made the ewes heavier.

“When we lift them into the trailer they feel a couple of kilos heavier and we start to swear and curse a bit.”

He said he had encountered a few ewes with “bearings” problems (prolapses) and attributed both them and the cast sheep to the lush grass growth.

“We always lose a few sheep at this time of year.”

In addition the weather could still be “dicey”.

“We did have a couple of cold snaps but nothing too major.

“We had a six days of hoar frosts about Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

“It’s hard to know what to dress for,” he said.

Anna and Glen Perkins farm a sheep and beef property at Raes Junction.

Mrs Perkins said the lambing season had been good so far, with ewes in good condition and, apart from some rain at the start, the weather had been mild.

“We have lots of grass and lots of lambs,” Mrs Perkins said.

They had also had a few bearings but numbers were about the same as in past years.

This season their children, Ella (14), Mac (12), and Sari Perkins (7), have had about eight orphan lambs to take care of so far.

They have been helped by family friend Joel Paterson (11), of Queenstown, who loves to stay on the farm during the school holidays.

Mrs Perkins said the lambs would be looked after for two or three days and then they tried to mother them on to ewes which had lost their own lambs, which was often successful.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand extension manager Central South Island Laura Lake said from what she had heard, the season was going well and most farmers were through lambing before the bad weather hit.

“I have heard reports of a few more bearings and a few more casts than usual,” she said.

She had been told there had been more twins born to beef cows than normal.