Hedgerows, Lleyns & lambing
24 March 2016
- In our March video blog Richard Smith introduces us to the commercial flock of Lleyn ewes he manages at Daylesford Organic Farm.
- This month Agricology featured a blog by Natural England providing information about a new Countryside Stewardship grant to help farmers restore their hedgerows and boundaries. The blog links to useful technical resources from the Woodland Trust and others.
- Lambing started this month at Daylesford, although the majority start in April there are 250 pedigree ewes that lamb a month early. The flock have scanned well this year, so a good lambing season is anticipated.
- Lleyn are the chosen breed of commercial ewe at Daylesford, due to their medium size and feed requirements and production comparable with other breeds.
- Ewes are fed on high quality home grown forage in the run-up to lambing: milling wheat, barley and oats with a TMR ration fed on a daily basis.
- Lleyn’s have been beneficial for the Daylesford organic system and have enabled the establishment of a closed flock. They produce a 20-22kg carcase (R3L grade).
- A percentage of ewes are crossed with Ryeland rams, producing high quality fat lambs (U3L grade).
- 100% of lambs are finished on forage based diets, even in the winter.
- Other resources this month include summaries of research by Newcastle University outlining the nutritional benefits of organic meat, dairy and crops.