Sunday, 3 July 2011

Weaning lambs & new chicks

We had this weekend all planned out, Saturday - wean the lambs, Sunday - chicks due to hatch with Ian and Elaine coming over to watch their chicks hatch. But as always when dealing with livestock, things never go to plan.
The chicks decided to hatch a day early, so there was a mild panic. A phone call to Ian and Elaine to say that their chicks were hatching, so that they could re-arrange their Saturday to come over and watch their chicks hatching.
We decided to go head with weaning the lambs, it shouldn't take us too long, or so we thought!!!! Firstly the ewes and lambs wouldn't go into the barn, we could only get them into the barn in small groups. It took us over 1/2 hour to get them in the barn, a job which normally takes half that time! Then the ewes wouldn't go through the weighing machine or up and through handling system, again something they normally do without any problems!!! Thankfully the lambs behaved a bit better and moved into their respective paddocks, especially when they saw all the new grass. The ewes are up on the common land, with very little grass to help them dry up, the weather and tup lambs are in the Alpaca's winter paddock and the ewe lambs are in the very top paddock. Last night was very noisy, but today everyone seems to have calmed down a little. We had just finished sorting out the sheep when Ian and Elaine arrived.
The Cream Legbar eggs were supposed to hatch out today, Sunday, but, I understand that because I put very fresh eggs into my incubator, this is the reason why they have hatched a day early. So the brooder wasn't switched on, it wasn't even ready!! 4 chicks hatched very quickly and thankfully, because of the warm weather, the brooder came up to temperature very quickly so I could put the newly hatched chicks in to it to give the remaining 3 chicks, still in their eggs, some peace and safety to hatch in their own time. The final chick hatch around tea time with me assisting the final 2 chicks, one of whom was backwards and the other just very tired. Anyway all 7 eggs have hatched, which is 100% hatch and as the Cream Legbar chicks are an auto sexing breed, I can see we have 5 pullets (females) and 2 cockerels. This evening all 7 chicks are eating and drinking and starting to explore the brooder.

No comments: