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Author Topic: General musings of a new flock owner  (Read 3160 times)

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
General musings of a new flock owner
« on: October 07, 2016, 09:35:28 am »
We've had our sheep now for 8 weeks... a few have had scald, they've been pretty wild, one had maggots in 1 foot... a real baptism of fire. The farmer we bought them from said they hadn't been handled much... it wasn't till we bought them home we realised just how much work we had to do  :roflanim:   handling them has improved but I'll never forget the first time we penned them up in the field- taking us 4 hours to do so  :rant:  All of them are sound now and looking pretty sweet. They come running for a bucket every morning and their characters are developing... 452 is by far the friendliest.


We borrowed a friends ram who has been running with them for 13 days now- he's tupped 2 of them (including 452 and the ewe that had the maggoty foot). He's seemingly interested but the girls aren't that fussed and walk off. I'm wondering if they aren't cycling yet? Either way they are taking a while- there goes our mid-late February lambing. Next year I wonder if it might be worth sponging them- something to look into for sure. His crayon is due to be changed next week so I'm hoping we will have a little more action in the coming weeks. I'm not the most patient of people! Unfortunately over the past few days he's not quite been sound on his front foot, we caught him yesterday and it seems he has a little scald, so sprayed his foot up and given an anti inflamatory. If he's no better by tomorrow we will catch him again and have another look. He's still bumbling around though.


A total initiation of fire this year and even our tame lambs have not gone without problems. Pneumonia caused us a lot of problems in the mild wet winter earlier in the year, and we put one down fairly late on in May with suspected white muscle disease. Last week we lost a nearly fit ewe lamb found stuck in a hedge but didn't look quite right in her head- we thought possibly shock. It wasn't until another showed the same symptoms last weekend that alarm bells started ringing, the vet treated for Vitamin B deficiency (CCN or polioencephalomalacia) and luckily she survived. Just goes to show it doesn't rain but it pours, we were lucky not to loose the remaining lambs although it doesn't make you feel much better about the one we couldn't help.  :raining:  We've had tame lambs now for 5 years and never had problems like we did this year... hoping lambing in the Spring won't be problematic as I'm not sure how much more bad news I can take !  :tired:

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 09:51:41 am »
It is still quite early - not sure where you are in the country but here in South Wales tups don't tend to go in until about now.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 12:57:37 pm »
Bit early for breeds other than Dorsets but the ram may well have been busy when you've not been looking.  We rarely see ours working but they manage to get all the ewes and tegs pregnant within 18 days each year.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 01:03:25 pm »
The first year of having a flock of your own is the most difficult. Our first year was a disaster :( But sometimes we need small disasters to help us to learn about what it is like to have your own animals :) Things will get easier in time and I am sure that next year will be way better than this year for you. If you need any help/advice we are here to help! All the best to you both :thumbsup:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2016, 03:09:40 pm »
Bit early for breeds other than Dorsets but the ram may well have been busy when you've not been looking.  We rarely see ours working but they manage to get all the ewes and tegs pregnant within 18 days each year.
He's got a harness on so we can keep an eye on what he's doing :)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 03:12:19 pm »
He's got a harness on so we can keep an eye on what he's doing :)

Why, is that so it gives you somewhere to attach the GoPro?  :roflanim:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 03:48:15 pm »
Now that would be good fun...  :roflanim:  just so we can see when they are due to lamb, we are fairly tight on shed space with the cows calving too so only want to bring them in if they are due within the next week or so.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 05:49:10 pm »
My ram has been in a week. A bit of whoa hoa how's your father? When he raced in the field, since then one clearly raddled (the crayon of shame) and the other 5 playing hard to get.  I don't think 13 days is anything to worry about this early in the year.  My guess is my ram will get more activity next week as nights are drawing in a temperatures are more normal.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2016, 06:47:33 pm »
Yes I did notice the temperatures are falling next week. We are going to catch him again tomorrow and treat his foot again, at least it isn't his back foot but still want to sort it ASAP. Thanks though, that puts my mind at rest. I'm hoping the 2 that have been served already won't return but time will tell.

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 11:27:38 am »
My first year tupping and lambing was a baptism of fire too.  I'd like to say it gets easier but 4 years in and its still nail biting stuff.  The ram went to teeze the ewes yesterday.  Hope the fencing is good enough to keep him out or there'll be lambs before my annual leave is booked.   :o
Never ever give up.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 10:35:51 am »
Bit of an update... he's served 3 more ewes since Tuesday and possibly the ewe lamb too... it seems they are all coming into season around about the same time  :relief:  hopefully the end of Feb/beginning of march will be busy  :)

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 03:15:53 pm »
That's good sounds like everything is working out OK for tupping. Mine as predicted has been busy this week. So you and me both for late nights end of Feb. The two he crayoned on day one had a proper colouring in on day 15 so suggested they were at the end of a cycle when he went in. He started green but is now painting the field red.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 04:39:23 pm »
I wasn't planning on tupping till November this year, wanting March clear for getting the Jerseys into a milking routine, and training the others here who will be milking them with me.

I cut it a bit fine with the move, though, and when the livestock wagon was delayed by 24 hours, it seems that the sheep took full advantage of the extra time running together! 

So I think we'll be having at least one set of lambs in March.  Can't be sad about that, though, eh?  :) :excited:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2016, 05:04:25 pm »
That's good sounds like everything is working out OK for tupping. Mine as predicted has been busy this week. So you and me both for late nights end of Feb. The two he crayoned on day one had a proper colouring in on day 15 so suggested they were at the end of a cycle when he went in. He started green but is now painting the field red.
Can't wait! The first one is due Feb 18th, the next is a week later, then the 3 covered this week are first week of March. I expect they will come in in one group mid February.
Sally have you moved now then? Hope it all went well  :)


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: General musings of a new flock owner
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2016, 07:58:56 pm »
Yes, I arrived, with livestock, last night.  Loving it so far :). Pretty much cream crackered just now, of course.  The livestock all seem very happy, not showing any signs of being stressed by the move at all  :relief:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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