Just a quick note to say that we sheared and wormed all the sheep yesterday except Rambo who needs to be grabbed next week. Also rotated them into the main paddock . Resting the camping area and the forest garden.
Category Archives: sheep
This is one of the two times of year when pretty much every bit of electric fence, every bit of housing, every water and food station and therefore every animal is moved from the now a bit tired winter ground, to fresh new pasture which has been rested for a good few months.
So, following harrowing of the fresh new bits, on Saturday morning, all of the sheep were wormed and hooves trimmed as needed and then moved over to the lambing pasture, ready for the girls to hopefully lamb in the next couple of weeks. This is a mixed blessing for Rambo who can’t wait to get to new grass but is always very annoyed to find he can’t just go everywhere he likes. This is the only time of year when they are completely penned into a relatively small area, which helps us to catch and tag the lambs and check them over when they arrive.
The poultry are now all under the tree and have been split up into three areas; the geese are separated, Othello is in with the two chocolate Muscovy girls and the random collection of the two chickens, Linford, Orlando and Vita are all in together. And Mac has been moved too. And they all look pretty happy and are certainly quieter now they don’t have to defend their patches from anyone but us…
Well..D day has come around again very quickly, so last week we took 9 lambs and 2 ewes to the abattoir. Always a sad day, and this year I really felt that I wished that we could do it at home to allow them to avoid the trip. The abattoir was the usual fun and games with silly banter and the parting shot of “don’t know why you bother, they are so small, you’ll get nothing from them”.
Just to put the record straight, the list below is the sum total of 6 of the lambs, we had 5 left as whole carcasses and I have butchered them myself, but they are not included in the list. We now have a chest freezer which is totally full of meat. We have a sold a couple of little bits, but will sell a bit more from frozen.
Plus 5 whole lamb cascass
4 Mutton shoulder 950 g to 1.1kg
5 Rolled mutton loin 650 g to 800g
4 Rolled breast 300 to 450g
4 Mutton legs 1 kg to 1.4 kg
8 lamb legs 850g to 1 kg
4 Stewing neck 450g
4 lamb rolled loin 650 – 770g
1 lamb shoulder 950 g
7 Liver packs 280g
4 stuffed heart packs 300g
Mince 4.5 kg
Sausages 4 kg
This year we asked for mince, which cost slightly more, but has enabled us to make some lovely sausages.
Just a little note to say that we wormed all of our sheep last week. (For my flock records).
What better thing to do on a beautiful sunny evening than catch 17 semi wild Soay sheep and try to help them to remove their winter coats. Tonight was shearing night where Becs and I spend at least 2 hours bent over various disgruntled sheep removing their fleeces with hand shears. It’s all very rootys (one ewe wee-d during the process narrowly missing us). The rams are the hardest, they weigh about 30 kg, are as agile as a deer and have two huge deadly weapons attached to their heads.
Anyway, the job is done again for another year, with the worst injury being the various gnat bites we both received around the builders-bum line.
We also wormed them all, so they should be good for another 6 months. Hooves need a really good trim next time.
Here is the pre-salon picture. Will upload a ‘post’ one when the light is better.
All the ewes have now lambed. The first of the last batch was born last Tuesday to one of the caramel ewe lambs from last year. Unfortunately it was tiny and despite various bits of intervention from us to get it feeding it passed away early on Wednesday morning.
The next set to come were twins that arrived on Friday morning, a pair of gimmers who are very healthy. Then on Sunday the second caramel ewe lamb from last year gave birth to another gimmer who is also very small. We penned her immediately as despite displaying lots of bonding behaviour, she wasn’t letting it feed. We ended up getting hold of her to turn her upside down and show the lamb where the teats were. Lots of monitoring and quiet later and things seemed to be improving and the lamb looks to be latching. It seems ok today, following mum around and feeding. It is warm and has a round belly which is a good sign. It is considerably smaller than the others though so I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.
Then this morning the last set of twins arrived, a pair of tups. So we have 10 lambs currently on the field, which is a great result, and seems to be of great delight to the village residents. Of our main flock, we’ve achieved a twinning % of 180, which compared to breed average of 130% means we must be doing something right, and Rambo has certainly done his job well. None of this last lot have been tagged yet as we’ve having problems with our tags so are awaiting some samples to come from an alternative supplier. Tiny Soay ears are tricky and our applicator is just downright frustrating. This isn’t a problem as we’ve actually got 9 months to tag them, we’d just rather do it sooner so it’s easier to identify them.