A paper on "Lamb-raising on the Farm," by Mr. W. G. Dowling, inspector of stock at Forbes, was read at yesterday's session of the annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors.
Mr. Dowling said that small landowners to succeed must give more attention to details that a large sheep-breeder would probably term petty, and the work of the small man was more strenuous. A man who could run only 300 or 400 sheep must obtain a paying return from each animal, and must ensure that there were no "dead-heads" on the place. Only female sheep should be kept, excepting, of course, what sires are required.
As the time for lambing came round the ewes should be divided up into lots as small as possible, as they were more easily attended to should any require assistance at a critical period. On no account should the ewes be allowed to see dogs. No matter how practical one's eyes might be, it was well to weigh each week a few of the smallest Iambs, and some of the larger ones, to see if they were gaining the correct amount of weight weekly, which should be from 3 to 4 lb.
"At the present price of land," added Mr. Dowling, "the old happy-go-lucky style has to be abandoned, as interest on capital cannot be made out of it. Nothing pays like good lambs, and there is only a small wages account. Most farmers could carry a ewe and lamb to the acre, and it should be possible to have 400 lambs to sell at five months old. All lamb raisers should keep a diary, as it is a most indispensable book in the lamb business. Weekly weighings and deaths should be recorded. The lamb death rate, including marking, should not exceed 2½ per cent. on a small farm. Lambs should have free access to good licks, such, as salt, sulphur, iron, gentian, and aniseed."