At birth, the lambs are first given a dose of selenium; the soil in our area, and consequently the fodder, is deficient in this mineral. Without this injection, the animal can develop an illness called white muscle disease.
Next, an electronic chip tag and a visual identification tag are attached to each lamb. Each lamb is then weighed and the birth-related data is recorded on the PSION (a mobile, hand-held computer) beneath its mother’s data. The lambs are nursed by their mothers for eight weeks and throughout this time they always have access to fresh water, mash and, of course, top quality hay. At eight weeks, they’re weaned and move on to the feedlot where they can eat as much mash and hay as they want and are regularly weighed until they are ready for finishing, at which point the best individuals are given a seaweed diet. The lambs are market ready when they reach a weight of 100 to 110 pounds.
The ewes get the minerals they need in their folds, where they are fed grain and hay twice a day. Depending on where they are in the production cycle, the grain may be replaced by nursing mash.