With the wonderful rains received in January the cunning plan was to harvest all the Lucerne paddocks for pit silage at the start of February, thus ensuring we would have quality regrowth for weaning the fawns at the end of February. However, February gave us even more rain than January – 150mm in total. Suffice to say Lucerne and clover, with the heat, grew extremely well throughout February. What a turn around from before Christmas ! So stock were able to be fed adlib – including 380 store lambs delivered from drought stricken South Otago at the start of February. We have never done this before but there has never been a better month to do it. These lambs averaged 32kg liveweight on arrival and we really don’t have a set margin in mind but will simply use them to harvest some of the high quality feed we have on farm at present.
The rest of the month is spent bringing hinds and their fawns in for ear tagging, first shot of Yersinia Vax (the fawns are so valuable this year it would be a shame to lose them to Yersinia if they come under stress). Fawning results are generally pleasing and we should finishing up with an overall result in the high 80 % but its amazing how many are lost from mating to weaning . First there are the hinds that simply don’t get in calf for what ever reason, then there are those that were carrying a fawn – but don’t bring one in at weaning so there is an element of wastage over the year.