Knowing the breeding history of ewes and ewe lambs is crucial to maintain the long-term productivity of the flock.
Craig Forsyth, runs a flock of Charollias and Suffolk breeding ewes, in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Ensuring he has a clear record of lambing performance, prolificacy and maternal traits is a vital tool for flock management, and the overall system he is running.
“We retain 80% of our ewe lambs, and therefore we need to ensure the information flow is as detailed and accurate as it can be, to continue to improve the genetics and performance of the flock.
“Electronic identification (EID) makes a big difference in ensuring we retain high performing animals. But, we don’t tag lambs until five to six weeks of age.
“Therefore, I rely on the longevity of spray marks to ensure we’re able to record the necessary performance information at lambing, which we then base flock management decisions on, at tagging time.”
This year, Mr Forsyth has used Nettex Promark marker spray for the first time and has seen notable differences in the durability of spray marks. “Promark has dried quickly on ewes and lambs, and the colours have remained vibrant and visible. It’s definitely standing the test of time.
“I’ve also noticed that the marker isn’t irritating the lambs. With Charollias we’re virtually spraying onto the skin when they’re young, so this is an important consideration for us,” he adds.
Mr Forsyth has also used Nettex Promark marker spray to mark ewes at scanning. “Again, ensuring scanning marks are long-lasting at this stage is extremely important to guarantee we get nutrition right in the run-up to lambing.
“Nettex Promark has been a good tool for us this season and will make sure we can successfully cross reference all lambs back to the ewe, while continuing to improve flock performance,” says Mr Forsyth.