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Lambs out and Penny has twins

Monday 7 April, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 10:18am in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

It was a nice day on Saturday, so we turned out Smudge and Pixie with their lambs. They are such timewasters :-) They all seem to be doing well - there's loads of grass in a little paddock that's nice and sheltered.

Yesterday (Sunday) Penny had her twins - a ewe and a tup, weighing in at 4.5kg and 4kg respectively. The ewe lamb had both eyelids turned in but they're fine now. We always get the odd one or two with fairly mild entrpion but I've always been able to correct it by turning the eyelids out every couple of hours for half a day or so.

Poppy's triplets

Friday 4 April, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 4:31pm in Sheep 2 comments Add your own

Poppy's triplets were due on Wednesday - she looked like Moby Dick, poor thing. She went into labour today - I was a bit anxious as we've never had triplets before.

No1 (white girl) born unassisted; Poppy very attentive, lamb up and sucking. No sign of No2 - Poppy didn't seem to be trying. After an hour, I assumed something was amiss; did a quick examination and could feel nothing that felt like a head or feet. Well, call me a quitter, but that was enough for me and I called the vet.

More lambs

Thursday 3 April, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 3:02pm in Sheep 1 comment Add your own

I'm sorry if this gets boring. Well, no, I'm not really :-)

Pixie had her lambs at lunchtime - a white ewe and a white tup, not in that order. Unassisted, although I did get the see the ewe lamb born. I think she had a leg back but Pix is quite a big ewe and it's her second lambing, so all was well. Both lambs up and suckled - Pix has plenty milk and nice wee teats - and their eyes are fine.

Smudge's two are learning to skip. The one with the turned-in eyelid is now normal - I turned it out  a couple of times while I was out checking the ewes and it's now staying out by itself. The lambs looked teeny but each weighed 4kg. I was really surprised but maybe I just need to "get my eye in" this year. Pixie's two look much bigger - I'll weigh them in a wee while and see if I'm right.

First 2014 lambs

Wednesday 2 April, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:38pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

First 2014 lambs born at teatime.

Smudge, a coloured gimmer, was 147days on Sunday, scanned with twins; she's been looking a bit preoccupied for a couple of days but started lambing properly at about 4pm. I caught her and had a little feel; two feet and a nose well into the birth canal, so left her to get on with it. Of course, at that time of day, the others wanted fed, so Smudge put lambing on hold while she had something to eat. Ryelands always get their priorities right :-)

After feeding the hoggs, I came back to keep an eye on her; she lay down and gave two or three heaves and stood up - and both lambs were there! Two ewe lambs. What a girl! She was chuntering over them so I left her to get on with it while I corned the hens. Mistake. Came back about 20 minutes later and Jinx had "adopted" one of the lambs - she's not due for two weeks yet :-(

Final preparations for lambing and the pigs arrive.

Thursday 27 March, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:12am in Sheep 0 comments Add your own


Heptavac and some retail therapy smallholder style

Wednesday 12 March, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 4:42pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

The Heptavac arrived on Friday, so we jagged all twenty sheep on Saturday. Oh, it's so EASY when you have the right size of needle!

In a fit of retail madness, I bought syringes and needles. Loads of them. I reckon I have enough 2ml syringes to last me 17 years, at current usage rates.

Now I need some good boxes to store them in, since they'll be around awhile :-)

Update on Penny

Friday 21 February, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 1:53pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

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.

Six weeks to lambing

Monday 17 February, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:02am in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

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.)

Cull sheep

Tuesday 11 February, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 4:16pm in Sheep 2 comments Add your own

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.

Lambing preparation

Saturday 25 January, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 1:55pm in Sheep 3 comments Add your own

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.

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