Sunday, 18 May 2008

Ear tagging and injections for lambs

As the youngest of our lambs is 3 weeks old and the oldest is 6 weeks, we got them all in the barn, with their mums of course, to give them their first injection of Heptovac and at the same time we decided to ear tag them all. We normally don't eat tag until we wean the lambs, but by that time trying to identify, which lamb belongs to which ewe is a challenge, doing them this young this time has been much easier. So the rams have yellow ear tags, the ewes have purple tags, should make it easier to wean them in the coming months.
Whilst we had all the sheep in the barn, a fellow smallholder Jayne called, she's was looking for a new ram for her flock, after looking at a few of our young lads, she chose Cassie's son (which she's called Earl). Earl will be staying with us until he's ready to be weaned at the end of July.
One rather messy job that we had to do today, was "dag"out Missy. Since she's been on the new grass, it's gone straight through her, so the fleece around her back end and down her back legs is rather "pooey" to say the least. The trouble is, if we don't do something about it, she could get "fly strike" from the blue bottles laying their eggs in the sodden fleece. You don't want to know what damage the maggots can do to a sheep!! I also gave Missy a squirt of homeopathic spray for scour, so hopefully Missy will dry up over the coming days.
Whilst we were ear tagging Brazil's ram lamb, the abscess on his leg decided to burst, another messy and smelly job. Now the abscess has been cleaned and sprayed with antibiotic. He and Brazil are now out with the rest of the sheep, enjoying the grass.
Tim is busy getting the base ready for my greenhouse, because today my new shed was delivered, and as my existing shed has all the bit and pieces for the green house, it's easier to put the greenhouse up, rather than find a place to move all the greenhouse bits and pieces to. More work for Tim, but in the long run the logical thing to do.
It looks like the Wiltshire Horn ewe lambs that we put to Charlie last December have not held their pregnancy, along with Davina and Demelza. It was an experiment to put a ram to very young ewes, one we will not be repeating, we will wait until they are 12 months old. We've also decided that we don't want to lamb more than 24 ewes next year, so there will be a small number of ewes that lambed this year that will be going to the Rare Breeds Sale in October.
The forecast for the coming week is good again, so it's going to be ideal to get on with some weed spraying in the empty paddocks, the grass, docks, nettles and thistles are growing so fast at the moment...........

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