Saturday, April 13, 2013

Farm update

Another yearling lambed. #214, one of the quads from last year, gave birth to a single lamb last night.  A ewe lamb. RR. Three more yearlings to go, including the two Lacaune crosses. Can't wait to see how they do. One of the crosses, "Muttley" has a big udder for a yearling. Another of the "yearlings," the only Mule I kept from last year, won't be a year old until next month.

This dam and daughter always lay close together.
The grass is gradually starting to grow and the sheep are eating less hay.  Thank God. Hay is so expensive and I can't figure out how to keep them from wasting so much. Today, I bought some soybean hulls to feed to the rams and the "free loaders" in the front yard. I may substitute hulls for hay for some of the other sheep. Not only are the pelleted hulls cheaper than hay, but they are easier to feed and there shouldn't be any waste.

A cool spring has delayed grazing
All the lambs seem to be doing well. The older lambs in the back pasture are eating a little over a pound of creep feed per day. The "inside" lambs are probably averaging about 0.5 lbs. of creep per day. Outside, they are getting more barley and pellets. Inside they are getting more cracked corn and  soybean meal.

The three orphan lambs are doing well. They are drinking from both bottles and the bucket. Two of the lambs are from a ewe that had mastitis. They are Lacaune crosses. The other lamb (brown) is the smallest of a set of triplets that a yearling had. She was raising all three, but I decided to take the smallest one for artificial rearing.

Orphan pen
Next week, I will need to re-arrange again, so I can start the weaning process on the ewes that lambed in the first round.  Hopefully, the three yearlings will lamb soon, so I can stop the 11 p.m. check.

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