Sunday 16 October 2022

Rams come into their own

Today was the day earmarked for putting the rams with the ewes. This involved a bit of sorting out, so the first task was to get all the ewes and lambs into the barn. Our two rams have been grazing in a separate field.

Once in the barn the younger ram was allowed out and the older ram stayed put. He also need his hooves trimmed - a tricky job on your own as he is a strong lad. Job done. Next the first group of breeding ewes were let out of the barn to join the older ram. This was followed by the second set of ewes who were let out to join the younger ram and then led to their field. 

There were two other small groups that had to have their own separate sections. These were three ram lambs and five ewe lambs  (plus an older ewe we are not breeding from) respectively. The latter had an episode of mastitis when she lambed this year and it is very likely that the affected teat is now non-functional. She still managed to rear two healthy twin lambs but it is not a good idea to put her nor any potential twin lambs at risk if she were allowed to lamb next Spring.

Having four groupings in this way is a little complicated. I had to ensure the correct ewes were with the right ram. Feeding and watering them each day will also be a bit involved. However, this will only be for four weeks after which we will separate them into two groups: boys and girls. Restricting the tupping period to four weeks will allow us to know more or less exactly when lambing will be completed as well as confining the process to a four week period. 

There are a couple of reasons for the four groupings. One is that our abattoir of choice is fully booked until January so we have more lambs than usual to carry through to next year. The second reason is that we are running with two rams. This might appear excessive for the number of breeding ewes we have but we want to generate two bloodlines which will have some advantages for future breeding. This is probably the last year for breeding, at least with our flock, for the older ram but his blood line will live on from his progeny.

Ewes and lambs about to be gathered in



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