Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lambing - Day 5

I got to the farm at 7.30 today because Dad dropped me off on the way to work.
The milk buckets which the lambs drink from needed cleaning so I scrubbed those out and then got on with bottle feeding all of the cade lambs and the weaker lambs.
Lucy got there just after 8 so we bedded down all of the pens, changed waters and hay racks and then fed all of the sheep with corn.
We moved some more stronger lambs and ewes back into the bigger pens and then took the newborn lambs out into the spare pens.
Lucy and I took it in turns again to trim the ewes feet, and to castrate and dock the lambs tails. We sprayed them all with ID numbers - John uses red for twins, whereas Louise uses Blue.
John and Louise went to go and put out some more sheep, and after a while there was a ewe which had a head coming out the back of it, we left it a few minutes and there was no sign of feet. We got her lying down and I put my hand in to try and feel for feet. One of them was right there ready to come out, and the other foot was backwards against its body. I pulled the closest foot, and it came out fine. There was also a ewe which looked like she was trying to lamb and her waters had broken which had been a few hours, but we left it and waited for John.
When he got back he put his hand in and could feel the lambs back, Lucy and I both put our arms in to have a feel and to see what was abnormal, the lambs head was right down and the back was coming out first. He lambed it and it looked all deformed when it came out. He delivered another two lambs and we got them all breathing by clearing their mouths and rubbing them with straw. The deformed one has big shoulders and a bit of a bent back.
Afterwards we set up the race in one of the fields with the Charollais sheep in it, went and had lunch and then went back and rounded the sheep up into it.

They lambs all needed to be injected with Heptavax which is a bit like a flu jab, whichis injected intramuscularly into the back of the neck and the ewes needed to be wormed, which is done similarly to the other sheep - with a special applicator gun injected into their mouth, the only difference being we used Panacur (instead of Combinex).
Because they are pedigree sheep, they need to be kept close to the breed standard in order to produce good lambs. When they were all in the race, I went down and checked all of the ewes' bags, and any of them which were lumpy or hard had a red circle sprayed on their head, and they will go off and be slaughtered, there were only a couple with bad bags. There were also a few lambs which had dips in their backs, so they will have to go. I felt bed sending them off to slaughter because they weren't perfect, but obviously it had to be done for the good of the breed as a whole so it was kind of justified.

We needed to put more ear tags in a few of the ewe lambs which DEFRA had sent.

We penned up the newborn lambs and we're going to give the deformed one a chance - we've named it Wonky William because it hasnt stood up yet.
After filling up all of the hay racks and waters, we bottle fed all of the cade and weaker lambs. I left just after 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment