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.
Monday 25 March, 2013
Well, our first lambs are due next Sunday 31st March. According to the raddle marks, I have two sets of twins (out of six) and two singles (out of three) due then. Normally, I leave the ewes out until a day or so before they are due but the weather has been pretty awful (although not as bad as in the west) and I decided to bring the ewes expecting twins in on Saturday. In previous years I have also let them out during the day and brought them in at night – this year, they are in from now until they lamb. There’s nothing out there for them anyway.
Tuesday 22 January, 2013
Well, Gillian, our scanner from Booscan has been today. As usual, she was prompt and efficient and the eleven ewes were scanned in about 20 minutes. She’s got great kit – looks a bit like “Ghostbusters” when she’s all dressed :-)
For the first time, we’ve got empty ewes – two of them. Nova wasn’t really a surprise; she had a C section last year and the vet said she might not conceive again. However, Nellie WAS a surprise. She lambed for the first time last year and had twin tup lambs. She didn’t have a lot of milk though, and we topped the lambs up with a bottle.
Monday 19 November, 2012
Our Coloured Ryeland tup, Lingah Nemo, went out with our eight ewes and three gimmers on 4th November – and the fireworks started on the 5th! By Friday last week, he had served all eleven, so I’m off to change the raddle to green. I do hope we don’t get any green bums.
In any case, I’m taking him out on the 2nd December. I don’t want to be lambing for longer than four weeks. If they aren’t in lamb by then, too bad. I’ll have them scanned in January so I won’t be feeding empty ewes. I’m going to separate those carrying twins and singles this year again – but will resist the temptation to feed those expecting singles this time round to try and reduce the vet bill.
Monday 27 August, 2012
We weaned our lambs last weekend. The youngest was 18 weeks old, the oldest 21 weeks, so well able to cope without Mum. All the single tup lambs are now bigger than their mothers.
We took the opportunity to dag any sheep that required it, give them all a spray of Crovect and take a faecal sample from the lambs. The sample came back low, but with tapeworm so we will worm them before they go off to fresh grazing at Barry Mill.
Sunday 22 July, 2012
Although we've had sheep since 2007, we've never had purpose built sheep handling facilities. Any handling has involved Dan sheep-wrestling and sheep-restraining. To be honest, it meant he spent too much time holding sheeps' heads while I jagged, dosed, dagged and trimmed. And I can't afford his hourly rate .
So when we sold Longcarse, some sheep handling equipment was high up my wish list. After much deliberation, we've bought an economy sheep race with guillotine gate and two way / stop gate from Penderfeed. The manufacturer is IAE; we have a couple of wheeled sheep hay racks from them and have found them robust, well designed and reasonably priced.