Joining Three Times in Two Years

Australian Wool Innovation

Type: Article
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Extremely helpful tables and worked through examples.

This chapter is provided by AWI and looks at Accelerated lambing, which is a lambing system defined as three lambings in two years.  Under this system, the ewes must be joined every eight months, or effectively three months after lambing.

The aim of this chapter is to discuss the issues surrounding an accelerated lambing system as a means of returning a flock to pre-drought numbers.

The key messages in this chapter are:

  • Joining ewes three times in two years can provide an enormous boost to profitability, but is difficult to manage, and requires careful thought. It is likely to pay off only when your stocking rate is well below normal.
  • In general, joining three times in two years doubles supplementary feed requirements.
  • An accelerated lambing system increases the stocking rate pressure on the property, because the ewes spend an additional five months over two years either in late pregnancy or lactation
  • Any deterioration in seasonal conditions elow the average will add significant costs in supplementary feeding,
    and above average seasonal conditions will aid in the management of the flock
  • The farms modelled in this chapter have less than half their normal sheep numbers to reflect a grossly understocked property following the drought

The chapter includes  Accelerated Lambing Case Studies

  •  with winter lambing on a farm at Bendigo in Victoria
  • with spring lambing on a farm east of Wagga Wagga in NSW

In conclusion the chapter suggest that you consider that the consequences in an adverse season – the whole program is much more demanding of the sheep and therefore the management. If things go wrong they may do so much more rapidly than under normal management.

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