After the drought this year, we are looking at our policy for hogget grazing. Usually we graze out our hoggets over the winter months but it has been suggested that we graze them out over a whole year. Would really appreciate some opinions on this
@Phoenix you might find this article I wrote for Country-Wide useful - it's about a year-round hogget grazing operation https://farmersweekly.co.nz/topic/crop-and-stock-management/view/building-a-better-two-tooth-ewe
Once you have weighed up both options there is potentially not alot in it...
Grazing them for a full year protects you in a drought and will guarantee a quality 2th (great if you struggle to grow your hoggets). There is ofcourse high cost involved, so you would need to be making $$ somewhere else to pay for it. If you carry on with grazing them out short term could you look at putting in a crop specifically for growing your hoggets. If you are going to look at a whole year then do your homework and look into what deals are out there.
Grazing ewe lambs out from weaning to the following weaning (2th age) can be a good option if you have difficulty growing out your own replacements to target weights, or if there is another policy that fits better and is more profitable than the cost of producing great 2ths. It may even be that running additional ewes, grazing off replacements and getting a great 2th back is a good opportunity. Work out some realistic costs and income associated with each option and then some other pros and cons that are difficult to measure financially (eg running 1 less stock class).