Monday, April 28, 2008

Lambing Jugs

Back in the Fall I posted a picture of our new mini sheds and talked about them being lambing jugs. We use them much like a maternity ward, giving Mum and baby a chance to get to know each other and to ensure Mum has enough milk and the lamb or lambs are feeding OK before heading off into the world. The pictures above show them in action. We had 9 pens in all and all the ewes went through them, staying for one or two days before joining the flock. It makes for a bit of work but we had no miss mothering or losses so it was well worth the effort.

This guy was our first lamb and much to our horror he had a black patch on his back left foot and we were wondering about the parentage of our ram. All turned out well ,as all the rest were all white with no more black spots

Cuddle with Mum

Quiz time

What the heck is this, answers in the comments box please, in a few days I will post the answer

Help !!

I was out in the corrals the other day and heard a lamb bawling in distress and also a lot off bashing banging sounds. I followed the noise and found a ewe frantically circling the mineral box making enough noise to wake the dead. Upon closer inspection I discovered four little legs in the box, a lamb had crawled in ,stood up and then couldn't find its way out and panicked. the only way out was through the top so I lifted the lid and picked him out reuniting him with a grateful mother.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Miserable, that describes the weather and how I feel about it. The 19th April and its snowing, we should have the sheep on pasture by now but it has been such a cold dry spring the grass has managed to turn green but it isn't growing. The sheep too are miserable as they are sick of silage and are itching to get out and eat some grass. Every fence around their pens has no grass within 18 inches of it as they are all on their knees reaching as far as they can under the fence to get any green blade that they can snag.
On the bright side the drop in barometric pressure brought on some more ewes and we had three sets of twins last night. We now only have a handful left to lamb and with a 160% lamb drop I figure it's not bad for a bunch of ewes whose average age is 8 plus years .It never ceases to amaze me why sheep, cattle and goats always birth right ahead of a storm rather than keeping their legs crossed and waiting till it blows over !! Any one with any ideas out there?

Update on river bank

If you can remember back to last Novembers posts (see older posts at bottom of page) we were busy working on the river bank restoration to stop the erosion of the banks and to make water access points for the livestock. We placed rock and trees along the bank to protect it, but could not finish because of heavy snow cover. Well the guys were back the other day as it must be finished before high water at the end of May. The trees all have to be secured with cables to the rock.
The job starts with drilling holes in the rocks so that the cable can be inserted and glued in place with an epoxy cement. The cable is wrapped around the bundles of trees and the cable ends glued into the rocks. Once the epoxy is hardened the cables are tightened by stapling the cable into tree trunks until all the slack is tightened. As you can see in the last photo you need a good sense of balance walking on the trees as a spill guarantees a bath !

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hi, hows things where you are?

Chillin' with Mum

Messy Business

Lambing is a messy job, and all lambs need a good licking by Mum to come clean. It serves two purposes , one to clean up and two to bond lamb and Mum and also get the breathing and "will to live" going on in weaker lambs.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh that feels sooo good !

The Boss

Our resident tom cat Ollie, having an afternoon snooze in the old dog kennel.

And so are the #@!?? dandilions

Still they are very palatable and 22% to 26% protein and the fields do look pretty when they are in bloom.

The grass is up

Up for a Pint

"Mothering Up"

The ewe and her new lambs spend one to two days in a small pen on their own so they have peace and quiet and get to know each other, we call these pens "jugs". When we feel they are ready or if we are running out of jugs they then go to a small paddock and mingle with other mums and their new lambs its called the "mothering up pen". This is where they experience the flock and learn to tell who is mum and who is auntie.

We try to introduce them into the pen when the rest of the ewes are busy eating so as not to cause too much confusion. Upon entry other ewes come over to check out the new mum and lambs and usually it is utter pandemonium until every one has sniffed everyone else and the lambs have all found there own mums, usually verified by a quick suckle. This can take one to ten minutes depending on numbers involved and relative intelligence of those involved ! Hope you can see by the two pictures the second showing the right lambs under the right mum.
Sorry about two photos the same , I can't seem to delete the extra one

Hard Work

Yes as no doubt the mothers out there can tell us being pregnant is hard work, and as you can see by the photos its no different for sheep, they need their rest. The third picture also shows its pretty tiring when the little devils are out and running around !

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Clear View

We are now full steam ahead with the lambing and the photo shows why the "crutching" is such a useful job as now we have a clear view of what is going on and how soon before each ewe is lambing. So far we have had 4 ewes lambed and 7 lambs on the ground, this should change quickly this week as many appear "close".