The heat in February proved to be too much and with only 33mm rain in February and 23mm in March things have dried up again. We are not panicking yet as we expect it to get dry in March just so long as we get autumn rains by early April. All deer have now been weaned and 75 2yr, 3yr and 4 yr hinds have been selected for this year’s AI programme. Both the 2yr and 3yr have not AI’ed in the previous year so it is a very young herd we are putting up this year – hoping to shorten the generation interval and increase the rate of genetic gain. The day arrives when we receive the DNA results back from this year’s fawns that were born to AI. A Deer Improvement stag called Ronaldo is a standout with 6 of the top 10 weaners. However, good old hind 05/114 still managed to produce the second heaviest weaner.
The last of our works lambs (bred from hogget’s) were killed early March at 20.45kg carcase weight – a very pleasing result given they were to small to do anything with when weaned in early December.
The ewes have done terrifically well following the rain in January, mixed age ewes went to the ram at 74.7kg at the end of March and 2ths weighed 67.3. It will be interesting to see how they scan.