Diary

Bringing the sheep inRSS feed

Posted: Monday 25 March, 2013

by Rosemary at 10:02pm in Sheep 1 comment Add your own

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.

We’ve built three individual pens at one end of the barn – these are 4ft x 6ft each and two have corner hay racks. In previous years, the pens have been 4ft x 4ft, but I was concerned that these were a bit small. So that’s the maternity ward done.

On Friday, we picked up our fourth wheeled hay rack (great kit) – one is currently up at the cattle, one in with the ponies and one in the field shelter for the single bearing ewes and ewe lambs. The new 8ft rack is now in the barn for the “ladies in waiting”. It’s not perfect, because I can’t see all of the barn from one viewpoint but it’ll do.

To give some extra space, we’ve constructed an outside area for the feed troughs using the solid sides from the sheep race. This area isn’t bedded, but I’ve laid the rubber horse matting down to make it easier to clean.

Add the water trough, the lick bucket and the feed troughs and we were good to go.

Bucket of sheep nuts in hand, Dan and I brought the six ewes in. They have settled in fine and seem quite content.

Moving the ewesMoving the ewes expecting twins.

Ewes in barnHoused ewes, quite content.

Bringing the twin bearing ewes in has let me move the singles and the ewe lambs out of Near Top paddock and into Near Ditch, were the twins were and which stays drier than the two Top paddocks. At the moment, the wind has dried the paddocks up, so I’d like to remove the chance of further poaching the Top paddocks in particular, if the weather breaks.

The singles will come in probably Friday – I don’t want to bring them in too early as they’ll get access to far more feed once they are in with the twins and I don’t have any way to keep the two groups separate. The ewe lambs can stay out in the field shelter for the time being.

I am seriously researching housing the ewes from Christmas until lambing next year. If the weather continues as it has been, I think we have to do it, not just for the welfare of the ewes but to protect the grass for the coming season. More on the sheep housing issue shortly.

Comments

John

Thursday 11 April, 2013 at 10:21pm

Hiya am looking for small bales of hay? don't suppose you have a contact? am in Blairgowrie

Cheers John

07786458472

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