Weaning Management Webinar Summary

Lamb weaning management can be just as important for you as what it is the lamb, in terms of timing and workflow according to Dr Andrew Kennedy.

“It’s not just an event that you set at the same time every year. It’s dynamic within your business when given seasonal constraints, market constraints and it gives you flexibility,” Andrew said.

During a recent webinar with Towards 90 focus farm hosts Tim Leeming (VIC, Paradoo Prime, Pigeon Ponds); Nigel Kerin (NSW, Kerin Agriculture); Clayton South (WA, Wagin), and supported by Jamie Ramage (Ramage Rural Stud Stock) participants soaked in the knowledge passed on.

From a quick whip around to assess the season, to current market pricing and where the land was with regards to soil moisture, it set the scene for participants from throughout Australia.

Hosted by Towards 90 with Dr Andrew Kennedy, the seasonal differences throughout Australia were a key factor of the weaning management webinar.

To access the recording of our latest webinar please follow this link.

“We do have some varying seasonal conditions across Australia and that’s the whole point of this weaning management webinar,” Andrew said.

For Clayton South, WA T90 Focus Farm Host, Wagin, WA, they’ve gone from weaning at 12 to 17, 13 to 18 weeks about eight years ago to pulling that back to possibly seven to nine weeks this year.

“…50 to 65 days, which is probably where it sits. I suppose coming back to where it fits in our weaning dates or weeks go up on the calendar pretty much when we put the rams in we know when the rams are coming out. We know when we want to mark them. We know and having that early to early and late, that foetal ageing has been good, that we’re not trying to get all that weaning done in one week or all the lamb marking done in one week,” Clayton said.

For Nigel Kerin, NSW T90 Focus Farm Host, Yeoval, NSW he got serious about his weaning management during the drought years of ‘18, ‘19 and ‘20.

He told participants of the importance of note taking, measurements and early weaning and, by doing this, how it not only helped them through drought but gave them profit.

Nigel has moved to one lambing a year saying ‘It’s easier to manage ewes, their time and the land in which the lambs will live and feed from’.

“We’re going to manage ewes for one event a year. We will put focussed management onto those where we will have an absolute cracking result and we will end up with more lambs anyway.” he said.


They measured and recorded everything including average daily weight gains and mortality.

“Write it down, put it somewhere. How do I make it better next year? Keep a record of your own management. I can’t get better if I don’t record how I performed as a manager of foetuses.”

“That’s the thing with the early weaning, it puts you in power of everything,” he said.

 “For us, we never ever go near our ewes at lambing. We have nothing to do. They don’t get cast. We’re not pulling lambs, we’re not doing nothing. A lot of that goes back to getting rid of ewes over the last 28 years at lamb and lost.”

Nigel said even their runts get a chance and they’ll always wean early – even if it’s a good year.

“…If I have to put a self-feeder in there to bring them up to the same weight as the rest of their mates in eight to 10 weeks, we will. But that cost us nothing. If you want to look at what drives reproduction, start looking after those twins and triplets.”

Marking out wet and dry ewes was also an important part of the picture when it came to weaning management according to Tim Leeming, VIC T90 Focus Farm Host, Pigeon Ponds, VIC. Especially when you’re giving ewes a second chance.

“…you’re still carrying a ewe that is so highly susceptible of doing the same bloody thing again, and you’re feeding it, shearing it, crutching it, drenching it, and it’s still going to fail to rear a bloody Poll Dorset progeny or a White Suffolk or whatever it’s going to be.”

Every part of the ewe and lamb’s journey is important, from the moment a lamb drops to the feed it eats and whether you keep or cull. Tim Leeming believes everybody needs to instill accountability (scanning assists here) and discipline across their production systems.

Weaning management is just one of 10 modules presented in the T90 Program aimed at breeders to increase their lamb survival rate to 90 per cent.

To express an interest in the weaning management module call 03 5571 9001 or see more at www.towards90.com.au

To access the recording of our latest webinar please follow this link.



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