Early January saw us weaning hoggets from their lambs. With the continuing dry conditions we were pleased to be able to wean 35% off mum and send straight to the works, averaging 16.14 kg carcass weight. The remaining 228 lambs went onto new Lucerne then on rape for the remainder of January.
As a significant number of 2ths are sold as replacements to a neighbouring farmer the challenge for us after weaning is to get these animals (hoggets/rising 2ths) up to weight, in good condition and ready for sale by the end of January. We were pleased that this year they averaged 60kg live weight, condition score 4 at the time of sale. It is also very pleasing to hear the performance our neighbour is achieving with weaning drafts and meat yield using our genetics.
At the end of the month we started bringing in the hinds and fawns into the deer shed for the first time, to tag the weaners and remove any hinds that are not rearing a fawn. The older hinds again performed very well with minimal dries however the first fawners yielded a disappointing 80% despite scanning 94% and appeared to be quite late in fawning. By the end of January all pasture has run out for breeding stock and we have opened a pit of silage that has been down for five years. We only recorded 5mm rain in January