Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lambing - Day 15

I got to the farm for 8 today. There are only 25 of Johns Welsh Mules, and 0 of Louises Mules left to lamb!
Violet has had twins :D
I did the usual and fed and watered the ewes in the big and little pens then started on rubber ringing and preparing lambs and ewes ready to go outside.
When I was done I helped John to load up the sheep into the trailer to take them out into the field.
I took down the spare pens from the new shed and stacked up all the hurdles together onto a pallet.
There were enough spare pens, so I moved the newborn lambs into the remaining small pens and Iodine and Spectam'ed them.
After that I went over to the old shed and took down all the empty pens in there. All of the ewes were in the big pens as I took down the hurdles.
After lunch, John and I injected some thick antibiotics into a lamb with an inturned eye lid. The eyelid needs to be facing the right way as the eyelashes rub against the surface of the eye and can damage it. I held the lambs head really tightly and John injected it. The antibiotics puff the eyelid back out of the eye.
All of the water buckets needed to be washed out to make sure there wasn't enzootic bacteria in there, so I did that.
After hays and waters we fed the sheep and I went home at 4.
It will be strange not going back to the farm, but its been a really good few weeks and I've enjoyed it all. I think I've learned how to properly deal with sheep and lambs (and to some extent newborn animals). Its also shown that animals will and do die no matter what you try and do for them which is just a fact of life. I used to think sheep were boring and that goats were better, but they're not anymore. I love sheep (bah) :D
Hopefully I'll be coming back to the farm to help with shearing in the summer if I am around or if not next year to help with lambing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lambing - Day 14

I got to the farm this morning at 8. Its good to be back after a week off.

It was a normal day - first feeding and bedding down then spending a lot of time rubber ringing and trimming feet.

We took quite a few ewes and lambs out into the fields today.

The cade lambs are all fine - they've grown loads in a week, but I can still tell them apart.

I'm sure Greg and Bluebelle still recognise me!
Mom with Greg + Bluebelle

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lambing - Day 13

I arrived just after 8 this morning at the farm, and most of Louise's sheep have lambed, and a lot of Johns sheep have also. I went around and changed every ones waters to make sure they were all clean and fresh. After that we fed the sheep.
I topped up all the hay racks and then bedded everyone down with straw.
Next I rubber ringed, Scabivax'ed and numbered lambs and also trimmed ewes feet and wormed them which took quite a long time.
After that I moved onto the next job - jet washing! The livestock trailer which the sheep came from the field to the farm needed jet washing so I did it. It is a huge trailer with two floors. I took out the ramps and doors and washed them down first, and then got inside. I did the upstairs first which was ok as I could just about stand up in there. I had to do the roof, floor and all the walls to make sure there was no mud or any nasties left in there from the sheep. That was ok, but the downstairs was next. There was literally no room so I was half sitting down on my feet at first, but it was ridiculous so I went to kneeling along then crawling on all fours in muddy sheep poo'y water! The whole thing was tilted a bit so the water would run out of the door, but I had a broom and scraped all the mud down, then jet washed it, but that got mud everywhere so it took forever to do and end up with a clean trailer!!
I came out soaking wet and covered in mud and who knows what else, but it was alright :D

I then had to go around and top up hays and waters and ended up leaving just after 4 o'clock.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lambing - Day 12

Back at the farm after a few days off revising, and all 200 of Johns Welsh Mules are in the new shed. The prolapse ewe we brough back died a few days ago because of an infection.
After the normal routine of waters, hays and strawing down the pens, I helped Polly (Louise's daughter) to bottle feed the cade lambs in the old shed. Greg and Bluebelle are doing fine - they are the most tame lambs, and I think they might recognise me!
I went around with Charlotte and prepared the lambs + ewes in the small pens which needed doing.
After I'd finished we went out into the field and walked in Louises Mules and rare breed Charollais sheep down into the spare big pens in the old shed, it took quite a while to make sure none of them ran off, but it was alright. They are due to lamb on the 11th April.
Me + John put up the 4x4 pens in the new shed, ready for when the Welsh Mules lamb. Then I put straw into the pens as bedding.
John, Charlotte + Me went into the woods around the back of the shed to try and push out a ewe with her twin lambs which had got through the fence into the woods, but couldn't get back out. We managed it in the end.