The money lies in ewes. At Ilnika Kalahari Reds we wean our ewes at 4 months. The average weaning weights are 25.2 kg. Ewes are fed from a creep feeder so that they get use to eating from a crib. This helps when you wean them that the weaning shock is eased out. All ewes are taken care of, mated at 9 months and then the final selection takes place for selecting replacement ewes.
When selecting ewes for breeding i wil look at my notes made from date of birth.
I score the ewes at birth and then once a month. Because I wigh them weekly I know their average daily gains long before their index is calculated and have a fair idea of which ewes are better performers. Performance plays a big role in my selection of replacement ewes. When buying a ram i make sure i have seen the lambs, therefore i have an idea of what to expect. A heard breeds back to the average of the heard. Therefore i try to select my replacement ewes from the top 50% of the ewe lambs. This was the greatest lesson i learned from Tollie Jordaan.
My selection of replacement ewes are then raised with a well balanced lick to get them to grow out and prepare them to be mated at 40kg plus.
This could be done on intensive farming setup. I try to allow my ewes to lamb 3 times in two years.