Its shaping up to be a really wet year – we have already had 555mm of rain to date , that almost our annual rainfall and we are only half way through the year.
The South Otago lambs are brought in for a final weighing – we draft down to 40kg liveweight this time and still manage to average 44kg on a line of 200, however they have only grown at 110 grams per day in the last months so definitely time for them to be on their way. These dress out at 19.2 kg (44%) with 94% of them meeting yield grade specifications – giving us a further $5 per animal. So overall the money is still very good.
June started wet and we are pleased that we have made a decision to delay the shearing of our remaining ewes and ewe hoggets until the middle of June. Even then the rain makes it difficult. We are able to get the hoggets dry and kept under the covered yards until they can be shorn but it takes another week before the ewes dry enough to be put under cover.
Pregnancy test the 158 maiden hinds and the 80 hinds put to the AI programme provides a pleasing indication as to how the fawning potential looks following a good autumn and putting more stags than usual out at mating time.
This is followed up by blood testing 180 of our younger replacement hinds for Johnes ( a wasting disease that can appear when animals are put under stress). It’s a relatively expensive exercise but only three test positive, two are low levels so a great outcome. We now learn that works monitoring of all animals killed probably provides the best early warning sign of Johnes prevalance in our herd, and this has been at zero for the past two years so a pretty good indication. Still is great to know that 180 rising 2 and 3 year old hinds are free of this disease and therefore will not be passing it on to their progeny.
At an Awards Night celebrating our Hurunui District, Puketira Deer was fortunate enough to be one of the recipients of the Hurunui Main Power Trust Environmental Award – receiving $2,500 that will be put toward native planting to reduce the flow of sediment into a tributary of the Weka Creek. There were a number of successful applicants all doing exciting things for the environment in the Hurunui District.