Friday 21 February, 2014
Pleased to report that Penny appears to be fine - completely sound and bright as a button. I gave her a second injection of Alamycin yesterday, although the swelling in her foot had almost gone, and let her and Jinx out after morning buckets.
I started feeding the ewes on Saturday and she's got the taste for cake now.
I got the results of her blood test today - she was very slightly energy deficient but Ca and Mg levels were fine. Although the ewes have access to adlib good hay and a licky bucket, I suspect that, with her sore foot, she wasn't eating enough, so I think she'll be fine now that she's sound and they're getting cake.
Monday 17 February, 2014
We had the vet out yesterday to Penny, second time lamber carrying twins, who was lame and a bit off-colour. Didn't come to the trough in the morning (started feeding the ewes on Saturday) - a Ryeland that doesn't come to the trough is always a cause for concern :-(
Made a pen in the field shelter and brought her in; put Jinx in with her for company (Jinx had "escaped" on Saturday when we were splitting them into "twins / triplets" and "singles / barren / ewe hoggs" and slipped in with the singles, so she needed to be moved anyway.)
Tuesday 11 February, 2014
Because we're relatively new to sheepkeeping, this is the first year we've had to cull animals.
In 2007 we bought ewe lambs; in 2008 and 2009, they went back to the breeder to be tupped. We bought our first tup for autumn 2010, then sold him in 2012 to a neighbour. However, the tup we bought to replace him is now done here, as his daughters will come into the flock in October, so we're culling him.
Last spring, we had two barren ewes; one we let go to a pet home and the other we gave a second chance to, but she's barren again this year, so she has to go.
Saturday 25 January, 2014
Looked out the 2013 diary this morning, noted down the dates each ewe was marked at tupping time and put the expected dates in the diary. I know they don't always go by the chart but I've found Ryelands pretty close to 147days with singles and 149days with twins. Triplets are a whole new ball game :-)
We're due to start 30th March and finish 17th April, which isn't too bad. Of course, the ewe expecting triplets is due a full week before the first ewe expecting a single - which is Niamh, as I hoped. Hopefully, this will mean that the triplet will be able to compete with its foster sibling when we twin it on. I suppose the challenge will be convincing Niamh that a week old lamb is newborn.
Friday 24 January, 2014
Gillian, our sheep scanner, has been today. She's scanned our sheep every year bar one since 2009 - and she actually remembers things about individuals! She must see thousands of sheep each year - what a woman :-)
I didn't have a good feeling about this - I usually feed some hard feed in the run up to, and during, tupping but I didn't this year. They had a molassed mineral lick from two weeks before Nemo went in.
We had thirteen to the tup. Nellie (aka Big Fat Nellie) is barren; no surprise there, she had twins first year then was barren last year but I decided to give her another try. But of course not raising lambs this year meant she was bigger and fatter - so Nellie will be joining Nemo on the mutton trail :-(
Wednesday 6 November, 2013
We had a good lambing in 2013 – we didn’t see the vet at all and all 15 lambs that appeared on the scans made it safely into the world. We had seven ewe lambs and eight tups, born between 30th March and 11th April.
Monday 16 September, 2013
We have roughly 8 acres of grazing on a smallholding about 4 miles away. Until Saturday, all we had up there was our two bullocks, our tup and our wether, Dickie. The folk that own the place check them every day and give them fresh water. I pop up twice a week to say “hello”.
Late Saturday morning, we took the eight tup lambs up there – they’ll be there until they go for slaughter on 16th October. We moved the bullocks into the fresh field with the lambs, and went for a chat with Nemo and Dickie.
Monday 26 August, 2013
Back in June, when we gave the lambs their second Heptavac injection (A sheepy week), we did a faecal worm egg count, which indicated that there was a potential Nematodirus issue. We treated with Panacur and a subsequent f.e.c. 14 days later (15th July) showed no Nematodirus and a low level of round worm and tapeworm.
We’re preparing to wean the lambs and will give them a fluke drench then, but decided to f.e.c. before deciding whether or not to worm.
Tuesday 2 July, 2013
We decided to vaccinate our cows and ewes against Schmallenberg virus as soon as the vaccine became available. In case you don’t know, SBV is a midge borne virus that causes malformation and death in calves and lambs if the cow or ewe is infected in the first third of pregnancy. Some farmers in the south of England experienced horrible losses last year and the virus has now been found in Scotland.
Cows need two injections, four weeks apart and the immunity takes three weeks to kick in, so we had to get our skates on. We might have left the ewes (there are all sorts of unanswered questions about how long vaccine derived immunity lasts and so on) because we don’t tup until November, which is generally past the midge season. But not always – it depends on the weather. But the cows had to be done because the bull will be going in mid –end August, when the midges will definitely be around.
Monday 15 April, 2013
Well, that’s lambing over for another year. We didn’t see the vet at all this year, which is good. We had a C section and two other visits last year. :-(
We put eight ewes and three gimmers to the tup; of the 11, nine scanned in lamb with six sets of twins and three singles.
And we have fifteen live lambs and nine live ewes, which is a pretty good result. One of the two empty ewes has gone to a pet home – she was the one that had the C section last year – and the other one will get another chance with the tup this autumn. She is currently taking on “auntie” duties.