Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ready for Lambing

It's been a long while since my last posting. I completely skipped 2014. In actuality, 2014 wasn't my favorite year, though the farm made record profits, thanks to really strong lamb prices.

As for the 2015 lamb crop, the first ewe lamb yesterday. One of my dairy cross ewes, a 2 year old, gave birth to twin ewe lambs.  In December, I had a surprise lamb born. A single ram lamb. "Christopher" is now over three months old and full of "piss and vinegar."  He's a good looking boy, but he's not happy about being in a pen by himself -- but he kept harassing the ewes and George.

First born

Yesterday was the annual barn cleaning. There wasn't enough manure to be spread on the fields. Guess I need to get some more sheep. I cut the flock back to 32 to better match the size of the hoop house.  If I increase the flock again, I'd like to do it with a group of fall-lambing ewes.

I fear this will be George's last winter. He's now 13 years old. He has problems with his feet. Though he continues to maintain his hearty appetite, he has difficulty getting around.

I'm looking forward to all the lambs yet to come. Most of the Katahdin lambs will be sired by a ram I borrowed, after my new ram (Lucas) was killed 8 days into the breeding season. "Ted" was a ram I sold a couple of years ago.  I'll be looking for a new Katahdin ram this year.

Christopher (L) and George (R, front)

The yearlings were bred to "Wilson" a triplet RR ram lamb. Yesterday, I moved the yearlings to the "garage" pen. I'm hoping to create an outside lot to go along with their 12' x 24' pen.  Having the yearlings lamb in the back bay of the garage worked well last year.  I like being able to feed and manage them as a unit, all the way through to weaning.

The ewe that lambed in December was re-bred in January. If she conceived (I hope so), she should have another set of lambs in early June.

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