Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lambing - Day 1 - 2009

Back at the farm today :D
Dad dropped be off just after 8, and Charlotte and Louise were starting to bed down the big pens in the main shed, so I helped them finish that off, and then we did the small pens. We changed the waters in the small pens and filled up the hay racks. When we'd done that we went over to the new shed and did the same thing.
Louise went up to the house so Charlotte + me got the newborn lambs out of the big pens and put them into the little pens, all twins. We Iodine and Spectam'ed their navels.
Then we started to prepare the bigger lambs with dry navels and ewes in the big pens, ready for them to go out into the fields.
To get the lambs ready they need to have a Scabivax Forte, which is a vaccination against Orf which comes out as a big scab on their lips - the dose is given with a special applicator which you click down, a measured dose runs down the prongs, which you then scratch down the inside of the lambs leg to make sure the dose is taken in and absorbed into the leg. Then the males are castrated using a little rubber castration ring which cuts off blood supply applied with special pliers - you have to make sure you get both testicles and avoid getting the teats - and both males and females have their tails docked with the same type of ring. Then the ewe is tipped and her feet need to be trimmed to make sure that they don't over grow and cause problems, she is also wormed using a type of gun applicator which squirts into her mouth.
Ewes and her corresponding lambs have ID numbers sprayed onto them to make sure if they get lost, they can be paired together. Singles are sprayed in green, twins in blue and triplets in red - the numbers are sprayed onto the same side of the body so that if they are running away from you, all numbers will face you.
When we'd finished that we had lunch then put all newborns into smaller pens with their mothers.
Most of the lambs are twins so far with a couple of singles and one or two sets of triplets which have been put onto single ewes put into stocks.
John came down and we put a trailor onto the back of his range rover with hurdles to take with us down the road to Johns sheep which haven't been vaccinated against Enzootic abortion so are lambing outside - they're all older lambs so don't have many problems.

We took Nel the sheep dog with us and set up the hurdles in one corner of the field. John and Nel went up to the top where the sheep were and she hurded the sheep and their lambs up and got them into the pen. We castrated and docked the tails of the lambs and let them out as we went.
We got back at 4ish then I went home and out for Mothers Day :)

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