We hope you and your families are well. We want to provide an update on the farm. Spring has arrived and our cattle and sheep are now on pasture. It has been abnormally dry for us this spring but have recently received enough rain to get the pastures growing well.
We have officially retired our first Dexter Cow, White Rock Blossom. Blossom was the first Dexter we purchased for the farm. She has been a tremendous producer for us over the past decade. Blossom has been a model for the longevity we strive for in all of our cows. She raised a healthy fast growing calf each year while in production. Over the past year, Blossom lost her status as Queen of the herd. She used to always be first in the lot and dominated the trough space when the group was fed. However, she became timid of other cows within the herd and trails behind others consistently. Blossom will remain on the farm to live out the rest of her life.
We ended our fall 2022 calving season with 23 healthy calves. We had a 92% birthing rate in 2022, which is on par with our three year average birthing rate of 94%. We have also been tracking the percentage of cows calving within a defined calving cycle over the past 3 years. Over the past three years, our herd has averaged an 85% calving rate within the first two calving cycles. Having a large percentage of calves born in a short time frame has helped herd management and the hanging weight of our beef becoming more consistent. The herd also accomplished a 100% weaning rate from our 2020 and 2021 born calves. We will be weaning our fall 2022 calves in mid-May and at this time we are expecting another 100% weaning rate for our 2022 calves. We use this data to analyze our herd's success from year to year. We have been pleased with the herds production the past three years and are hoping to build upon that in the future.
We are transitioning to a new herd sire at the farm and currently are in possession of two bulls. This allowed us to divide our herd and breed a portion to each bull. Our new bull Helgen Farms Archie, was responsible for breeding 7 cows and Five Star Morgan, was responsible for breeding 23 cows. These cows will begin calving in October, 2023. This is the first time we have used two bulls to breed our herd. We have been pleased with Five Star Morgan the past few years but our plan is to incorporate many of his daughters into production over the next year. Morgan is enjoying his final days at Mad Kettle Farm, as we have advertised him for sale.
Our barn lots and working alley for our cattle has recently gone through a renovation. We added a large staging area to bring the cows in. From the staging area they are moved in small groups to the working area. We sort the cattle and calves prior to their move into the alleyway. Sorting the calves from cows prevents injury to the calves in the tight quarters of the alleyway. We are also able to adjust our tarter headgate for size cattle that will be working at that time. We have utilized metal corral panels, slide gates, a Y-split, and tarter squeeze chute as part of our alleyway system. The Y-split allowed us to create a permanent loading area that can be accessed regardless of the weather conditions. These changes have made working our herd much more enjoyable and safer.
Our flock had a rough summer leading into the 2022 breeding season. We lost 3 mature ewe last summer to coyote attacks, these were the first predator deaths we had suffered in almost a decade. The flock along with our weaned calves suffered from an outbreak of pinkeye. We first attempted to treat our outbreak with LA 200 but soon switched to Draxxin for better and quicker treatment. We do believe the stress of the attacks in addition to many suffering vision impairments at the onset of pinkeye led to an unusually low lambing rate this year. This year our flock raised 87% of the lambs born compared to our 5 year average of 87%. They also raised 1.5 lambs per ewe compared to our 5 year average of 1.64 lambs per ewe. The lambs that have been born are healthy and have been growing well. We are looking forward to watching their performance as we collect data to submit to NSIP for estimated breeding values. We are also planning to attend the Eastern Alliance for Production Katahdins Symposium on July 8, 2023 and cosigning animals to the sale.
The next generation of Mad Kettle farmers are showing interest in learning and helping around the farm. Our cattle and sheep handling systems have allowed all the kids to be present and involved when working the animals. They are learning about basic animal care and the importance of keeping the animals in optimal health. Cole and Jolie will be showing pigs at the Frederick County Fair this year. This will be the first time Jolie has participated in the fair. She is very excited and looking forward to working with the pigs. Cole will also be showing two Katadhin wethers at the fair. This will be his first time showing sheep. We were able to take lambs from the farm for him to show.