Online videos during the recent lockdown led to a series of seminars on lamb-rearing systems being held recently around the Southern districts by Beef + Lamb NZ.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s Clutha Valley event, Beef + Lamb NZ South Island southern extension manager Olivia Ross said the seminars were a direct result of online conversations held over the past few months while in lockdown.
‘‘There was much talk online about what farmers could do to improve their lamb›rearing rates,’’ she said.
‘‘So we decided to open it up to everyone to help farmers improve their operations and to provide tips and guidance of how to preserve the health of newborn lambs from day one.’’
The sessions were suitable for sheep breeders of all levels, and discussions by experts ranged from bucket feeding to automatic feeders and how to care for newborns.
Representing the Red Meat Primary Partnership, Riverton farmer Raewyn Black guided about 20 attendees through the group’s in›depth experiences with the many different techniques they use to secure the future of newborn lambs within the first 24-36 hours.
‘‘I joined these seminars because I wanted to help other farmers make lamb rearing as simple as possible,’’ Mrs Black said.
Topics covered by Mrs Black and visiting Clutha Vets specialist John Smart included signs of distress and effective medical treatments for newborns within the first day, effective and safe feeding programmes, and the organisation of pens and automated feeding systems.
‘‘It was all about making lambing so much easier for us all,’’ Mrs Black said.