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Super-ewe’s simply not slowing down

Masterton farmer Mike Wallace with the five lambs and their poll dorset ewe mum, Daisy. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

BECKIE WILSON
[email protected]

Masterton farmer Mike Wallace does not usually name his sheep, but ‘Daisy’ is special.

Wallace has been blessed with a unique ewe who he refers to as a “super sheep”.

The five-year-old poll dorset ewe gave birth to a set of twins last Friday, bringing her lamb tally to seven in the past 12-and-a-half months.

Last December, Wallace spoke to the Times-Age after the five-year-old ewe had triplets on November 29, only five months after having twins.

While the poll dorset breed is known for cycling out of season, Daisy does not muck around.

“She doesn’t look like a very special sheep currently,” he laughed.

But Wallace calculated that the ewe had cycled again, and was in lamb only one week after the triplets were weaned off her on February 13.

Wallace has worked on large sheep stations all his life where ewes such as Daisy were not taken much notice of. But on his 14-acre Homebush Rd “hobby” farm, it is noticed.

Wallace has kept the three ewe lambs from last year, just to see if they are a chip off the old block.

The quick turnaround has been on accident, despite running the ewe with a 154kg south suffolk/poll dorset cross ram after each lambing.

Spring-like leap into lambing

With a spring-like feel in the air, the weather to welcome the start of lambing season could work in favour of farmers. But it could take a turn come September.

While some farmers on low-lying areas have already begun lambing, most farmers are yet to start.

The warmer and drier weather throughout July is a change from the same time last year.

Castlepoint was tracking towards its fourth driest July since 1902 – only recording 25mm this month, NIWA forecaster Ben Noll said.

The westerly winds have been keeping the temperatures warm, however, the forecast for the first week of August is for cooler temperatures and rain.

The remainder of August would have a “spring-feel” with drier weather, he said.

“However, that could go backwards in September and October.”

Noll expected September and October to be cooler with near-normal rainfall.

Meanwhile, farm-gate lamb prices continue to rise, according to AgriHQ’s schedules.

Last week’s latest North Island schedule shows farmgate lambs weighing 17.5kg are fetching $140 a head, up from $138.25 the previous week, and $118.13 at the same time last year.

Lambs weighing 19kg are fetching $152 a head, up from $150.10 the week before and $128.25 last year.

Lambs continue to get more expensive by the week with process paying $8 per kilogram regularly, the schedule said.

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