Counting sheep….zzzz

Major job this week – counting and sorting lambs. ‘Cos we sell our lovely lamb every week of the year we need a steady supply of lambs which is very difficult to manage. ‘Normal’ sheep farmers aim to get their lambs fat and away as soon as they can. We on the other hand have to pace ourselves – we group the animals into size groups and feed them accordingly.

At this time of year they need extra feed to ‘finish’ them but we only need to supplementary feed a few at a time. We therefore have to estimate of how many lambs we’ll need in the next month or so and then select the best and biggest from the main group to bring home and fatten. The group in this picture are doing well but aren’t quite big enough. So they’ll stay out in field until after Christmas. At that point they all come inside as it’ll be cold and muddy by then – unlike today which is sunny and dry!

20131114-192512.jpg

Advertisements

The Tups are out!

It’s that time of year again. The tups (rams) are out doing their thing, hopefully producing lots of lambs for next March. We have 3 rams – Rocky, Fergus and Squire and they each have about 50 ewes to ‘serve’. We leave them in for 5 weeks which is 2 full cycles and most are served in the first cycle and lamb within 3 weeks.
Each ram has a crayon on his chest which marks the ewe’s bottom when she’s mated and we use different colours for each ram so we know at a glance which ewe had mated with which ram. All very complicated but well worth it. The next scary time is the week before Christmas when we scan them to see if it’s all worked out! Watch this space….

20131106-090815.jpg