In this week’s Farmer’s Diary, sheep farmer, Clodagh Hughes, discusses sheep breaking out, preparing to sell lambs at the mart and a pre-breeding season check.
Sheep farmer’s diary
I had just sat down to write this article when I hear the thunder of hooves coming down the lane accompanied by some very animated baaaaing!
Yes – You guessed right! Sheep got out. I would not mind, but I had only put them onto fresh pasture last night and less than 24 hours later, there is been a mass breakout.
Besides, I was even more surprised (and quite a bit impressed) when I saw where they had actually gotten out. They had burst through a hedge thick with briars and bracken and then jumped down off a stone-walled bank about 5 feet high.
My ewes are not the fit and frisky mountain types. It goes to show how suited sheep are as a species to climbing, jumping and causing general mischief.
Anyhoo, all safely returned to the aforementioned paddock. I did a real farmer’s quick patch job on the gap, which I must remember to return to later.
Separating the ram and ewe lambs
After a few testing weeks, I feel like I have got my mojo back because I accomplished a lot of jobs on my list this week.
I separated my ram and ewe lambs as the boys are getting frisky, and we do not want any avoidable accidents. This is also a good way to observe and control their growth and adjust it as I see necessary.
I am still catching a few lambs with maggots and, although I am finally getting control of the issue, I am fed up of the nasty little yokes.
As soon as all veterinary products are out of their systems, I shall be off to mart. It is time I got the bulk of my spring lambs sold and have some money to help for the upcoming breeding season.
Most of my lambs, bar 6/7 of my best ewe lambs, will be going in the next few weeks. Furthermore, I keep my best females as replacements to add to my closed flock system.
This will mean getting a new ram next year as my stock will be too closely related.
Pre-breeding season check
Another job was to do a pre-breeding season check of my girls. This meant a thorough examination of; feet, teeth and teats!
I discovered one ewe that appears to have gone blind in one teat. But, she is a strong, young ewe and I am confident she will be well able to rear at least one lamb. Worst case scenario, I will have to foster or bucket rear any surplus she might have.
Gorsey the horse
In other news, I held Gorsey in for a bit yesterday and gave him a good grooming, cleaned out his hooves and washed his big old horsey butt. He had some loose poops recently, and his tail and leg hairs were stained.
He loved it and was very patient; it was nice to give him some attention. I also gave him a worm dose, so he should pick up soon; I think he might also need a wee supplement.
That is all for this week, folks; think I will go check on my sheep!
Read more of Clodagh’s sheep farming updates.