Livestock Cropping & Pasture General Farm

What are the advantages of early mating?

The advantages of mating at 7-9 months, if the ewe lambs are of adequate liveweight and condition are several:

  • Longer reproductive life – an extra lambing opportunity.
  • More fertile and better mothers during their lifetimes.
  • Reduced generation interval and therefore higher genetic gains in flocks which breed their own replacements.
  • Potentially more lambs bred per ewe lifetime and hence greater profits.
  • In flocks that purchase replacement ewes, they shouls be cheaper than 3-tooths.

What are the disadvantages of early joining?

  • Higher skill levels required to adequately manage the flock, especially in feeding the young ewes.
  • Greater flock supervision required to minimize lamb losses.
  • Lambing percentages may be lower from young mothers.
  • Weaning weights may be lower from young mothers.