So much for writing the diary on a weekly basis!
That worked as well as I thought it would!!
I have a good excuse though as it is one of the busiest times of year.
I’ll start with the sheep, the first batch are finished and out to grass. I ended up with 36 out of the 40 ewes gone out with 58 lambs and 3 pets left in the shed. I have to bottle feed these 3 until we can foster them onto another ewe with one lamb or if a ewe loses one of her lambs we can try and get one of them on her.
There are a few ways of getting a ewe to take a lamb thats isn’t her own.
If you are there when the ewe has a dead lamb you can rub the dead lambs scent on the pet lamb or sometimes the ewe could just take to a lamb if you put him in with her not long after she lambs but its rare. There is one more method which most of you will gasp in shock at. You can skin the dead lamb and put the skin on the new lamb like a coat. The ewe smells her own lambs scent and takes to the lamb straight away, it might sounds gruesome but bear is mind nothing is hurt by doing this and the orphaned lamb gets a new mammy and ewe thinks its her lamb and I don’t have to make bottles!
A win win situation.
The second batch have started. I think we’ll get 15 lambs out of that group, one of which are triplets. She has enough milk for the 3 of them I think but I will have to watch her closely and take one away if they are hungry.
The calves are going well. We have 15 at the moment, 11 males and 4 females, a bit uneven but it usually balances out in the end. The angus calves are great. The cows calf on their own and they are up quickly and suckling the cow which is the most important thing. After a few days I put in there ear tags which are the yellow tags with my farm identity number. Each calf has there own number and passport which is the blue card I get sent to me.
On the card there is the calfs date of birth, sex, breed, her mothers number and my name and address.
This card will go wherever the animal goes for her lifetime and any testing for TB, which you have to do every year, is recorded by the Department of Agriculture on the card.
I have 20 days to tag the calf from birth and 7 more days to register the calf with the department which I do online.
The pigs are going well too. I had 2 gilts (1st time to have piglets). One had 12 piglets and the other had 10 so I am very happy with that.
I have picked out 4 more young females and let them in with the boar so hopefully they go as well.
Out of the last 3 pigs to farrow I had 33 piglets which is great. It costs a lot to feed a fully grown sow so I need at least 8 piglets alive to make it pay.
I am off to check for more lambs and calves.
Until next time.