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Weaning

The optimum age to wean lambs at is 100 days or 14 weeks of age. Leaving the lambs suckling the ewes for longer than this will have a negative effect on both parties as the ewes will be competing with the lambs for grass. In addition ewes need a break from lambs to allow them to recuperate and regain body weight in anticipation of the next breeding season. The table below give an approximate guide to weaning dates.

Lambing commences Mean lambing 14 weeks/weaning
March 1 March 10 June 17
March 15 March 25 July 2
March 30 April 10 July 17
April 15 April 25 July 22

The target weaning weight for lambs sired by terminal sire breeds is 34kg. It is a good idea to weigh a proportion of your lambs to see how they compare. If lambs are significantly below this target, the possible reasons for this should be investigated. Potential reasons are: poor grassland management; poor ewe condition at or post lambing; disease or parasites; or, poor genetics in ewe or ram flocks. Consider putting a plan in place to rectify any issues for next year.