Tuesday 3 February 2015

Baa baa

"Good Moaning", as the Policeman would say in  Allo Allo.

(apologies for the blurry pictures, these were taken last year at lambing)

If you are upset by the production of meat for food, please come back tomorrow for more of my drivel.

Lambing season is nearly on us and by the fresh blanket of snow, its going to be hard going.

The ewes that are pregnant will be mostly indoors soon if they arent already (open side barn), with deep bedding.

Love the earrings darling!

As you can see the lambs and ewes will all be marked like dominos to identify the mother and the  lambs.  

Ear tags must also be applied.  This is for Defra purposes.  In the 'Olden days', they only used to notch the ears to mark the farmers flock.  Rather like a cattle brand.  So when your sheep wandered over the hill and burst through a hedge (remember they are really stupid animals, they love falling in ditches), you could say to your neighbour.  I have lost 4 sheep, can we find them?  Your neighbour will have different notches to yours so you could see very quickly. 

Triplets, on wobbly legs, less than one hour old.  Look at its tail wagging

 Blurry now.

The below pictures may offend some, they do not hurt the ewe in any way.  Please be assured of this.

The stocks.  

What are they used for?  Some ewe mums, have an identity crisis after giving birth.  They can reject their babies, try to steal others or if a first time mum, they just dont know what is happening and they wander away.

To rectify this, for a short time, they are put in a penned area, the 2 doors at the front open like cupboards in your kitchen.  An area is cut out the middle for the neck, and at the top there is a latch that hooks over to keep the doors closed and the ewe cant escape.  The lambs are then added to the pen.  Normally once they start to feed, the ewe calms down and takes to the lamb.

You can also do this, so the ewe adopts a lamb that has been rejected or the ewe has died (quite rare).

More pictures below to show they are not in any distress.  Animals that are in any distress or are ill do not feed or drink.  They dont comfort eat like humans.

Sometimes you may see a ewe with what looks like a harness on the wrong end of their body.  This is because the ewe has suffered a prolapse.  My thoughts on this are that I would never breed again with this ewe. Other people may but I wouldnt.

There you go, a little look at lambing.  I have left the gory bits out, as you all know there are some.  

Enjoy the picture below.  it is from my current homes garden, the tree is about 40 years old.  Blue sky, blossom?  What more can you ask for.


northsider said...

Welcome back Sol. Saw ten Suffolk lambs on my walk today.

Sol said...

hey Dave! Ten already?

They are behind on the farm then! lol

Sheep are a lot of work compared to pigs arent they.

Although. A large flock of Soay sheep would be spectacular to look at wouldnt it. But it isnt my farm...

northsider said...

You need lots of sheep wire to keep sheep in Sol. I once bought ten Jacob cross rams and kept them in all winter. They ate a barn of hay, lots of bags of sheep nuts and we made a profit of ten Euros a head than when we purchased them. Never again! Wouldn't mind a couple of Suffolks hmm..?

Anonymous said...

Cute lambs. Are those blossoms in bloom right now?

Anonymous said...

I do love to see lambs gambolling in the fields so I hope that they aren't being born just yet.

Sol said...

Hey Dave, I wouldnt sell them they would be for the table. they need less work to maintain than modern breeds I am told.

Susie, the blossom is from last year. We have snow and no buds at the moment.

Hi ya Toffeeapple, there arent any on the farm yet. They werent put to tup early, they were kept back due to the last 3 years there has been snow on the ground for most of February. A dead lamb is dead money, unfortunately.

Kev Alviti said...

We used to call them "adoptor pens" not very imaginative but they did the job! And not cruel in my mind as it can save a lambs life. I think people struggle in the UK because they think animals have human emotions, I often tell the story of shooting one of two rabbits sat in the garden with the air rifle. What did the other rabbit do - morn his friend and cry in the hedge and lament his loss or keep eating sat about a foot from him?

lovelygrey said...

Brilliant - some of my friends are in the middle of lambing too! x

Sol said...

hey Kev, some people have a hard time associating the plastic wrapped food in the supermarket with the lamb they have just seen jumping around in the field.

Hey Lovelygrey, they are cute arent they! They make a real din when bleating