May 2014RSS feed

Finally our 2014 lambing is over

Tuesday 6 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:11pm in Sheep Comments closed

Jura produced a large tup lamb this afternoon, between 2pm and 5pm. When I went to feed the ewes at 5pm, he was up and dried. Mind you, it's been a glorious day here. So lamb and ewe are in the field shelter. Her teats are quite big so I made sure he suckled before I went for my dinner - which was nice but not as nice as HIS appeared to be, judging by the waggly tail :-) I'll ring him in the mroning and he can get out on the grass - she won't lose him.

So, thirteen ewes to the tup; twelve in lamb, twenty two lambs scanned; twenty two born alive, one dying shortly after birth :-(. Of the twenty one live lambs, seven tups and 14 ewes. So a lambing % of 161 - best we've had so far.

The cows are home

Tuesday 6 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:24pm in Cattle Comments closed

We brought the cows home on Sunday. All seven - magnificent - have been at our temporary grazing since the four cows were turned out mid-March. But Breeze, Blizzard and Annie are due to calve at the end of the month and it was time that Bonnie wasn't running with a bull, so we brought them home. One at a time - Breeze first (we'd have brought Bonnie too but couldn't catch her :-)), Blizzard (who fills the trailer on her own), Annie then, last but not least, the bold Bonnie.

George and Storm weren't at all helpful in the loading process and Charlie loaded himself at one point - but after a few sweary words (me) and words of calm (Dan), we got them home. Astwood is now a batchelor club. Our plan is to use Astwood for the bullocks and the bull, when he's not working - bullocks will go up there at weaning and stay there until they go to slaughter. Cows and heifers will be mainly at Dalmore.

Our anniversary

Thursday 15 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:01am in Smallholding 2 comments Comments closed

It was four years ago yesterday that we got the keys for Dalmore.

It's been a lot of work but we now feel we're at the end of the beginning and here's to the next forty.

If we get a chance this weekend, we'll try and do a "before and after" photo shoot :-)

A mixed bag

Monday 19 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 3:38pm in General livestock Comments closed

Well, the vet was here today to jag Bonnie to eliminate any unwanted pregnancy. Although she will go to the bull later in the summer, she'll have grown a bit by then.

I've been practising haltering for a few days and she's been very good and I can now fairly reliably slip a halter on her in the field. When I check the four of them in the morning and in the evening, I slip the halter on each in turn, give her a good scratch then take the halter off again - it's just a bit of practice and they associate being haltered with something pleasurable. Not sure how happy Bonnie will be with haltering tomorrow - although she barely lifted her head out the feed bucket when the needle went in, bless her.

Dickie is dead

Wednesday 28 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 4:35pm in Sheep 13 comments Comments closed

Feeling a bit gutted this afternoon. Dickie, our Coloured Ryeland wether, died today.

He was one of our first crop of lambs in 2009. He had a white streak of wool on his face that reminded me of Dickie Davies :-) I couldn't bear to eat him, so we had him castrated and kept him as a tup companion (also mentor to various groups of tup and ewe lambs). We took him to the vet in the back of the car to be "done", and Dan held him, legs akimbo (Dickie's not Dan's) while the vet did his stuff.

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