Monday, April 29, 2013

New additions to the flock

It's been very busy here this weekend with the delivery of some new sheep with their lambs at foot. We have been lucky enough to buy some lovely breeding ewes and their lambs; two Coloured Ryelands and four Ryelands have joined our flock. We're very much hoping they will improve our breeding stock for next year and therefore our 2014 lambs.

We have already been very busy with enquiries for 2013 lambs so it looks like the demand for these gorgeous sheep is still strong. They really are a great sheep for all smallholdings, not to forget they also produce wonderful meat.

A couple of the lambs have been slightly scouring over the last few days, probably due to the new green grass that has suddenly appeared. One who was rather messy has been stabled along with his mum and twin; he's been receiving electrolytes via syringe and being the helpful chap he is stands and waits for his fluids. His tummy seems far more settled now and as he's remained bright and breezy will return with the rest of his family to the flock tomorrow.

All the lambs will be wormed this weekend which was supposed to be done last week but time just flew by and unfortunately that job got over looked. The lambs will all be weighed prior to drenching so it will be fascinating to see how they've grown. They are all stocky youngsters but it's funny to watch their growth; one week they're all legs and growing upwards then next they fill out and they seem to be going outwards!

The rams are getting into all sorts of mischief this week, it would appear they are feeling left out. Today I removed our coloured ram from the hen run, where he was determined he would fit into the coop. Our young white ram also decided to go on his adventures and sneak into the ewe's paddock. Luckily none of them were feeling amorous so he just decided to have a snooze instead and soak up some sun.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

spring time

It's all been very busy here over the last few days. The lambs are growing rapidly and we are looking at them every day deciding which ones should be registered. As well as having excellent conformation the white Ryelands should have dark noses, eyes and inner ears. The Coloured Ryelands must have white tear drop markings from their eyes. Generally they are all good lambs but some obviously standout as being a little more special.

The ewes are doing their lambs well but we are still giving them a little help by feeding sheep nuts to help ensure their milk production. The lambs have also enjoyed a nibble of the lamb nuts which they get at feed time too. At feed time we like to do a quick check of all the lambs and ewes just to ensure everything is ok. It's great fun to see the lambs playing in the evening after everyone has been fed. The leaping, bouncing and lamb races are mesmerising and a complete time waster. The sense of well being when you see the lambs charging round and the muffled bleats of their mothers as they 'talk' and graze at the same time makes the harsh winter work and lambing worries so worthwhile

We have also been busy harrowing, rolling the paddocks and doing some over seeding. Remarkably the fields have stood up to the bad weather remarkably well but are very dry on the surface and grass growth has been slow to get going this year. Hopefully there will be a flush of activity soon.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A bit of warmer weather

The lambs are all outside now enjoying the warmer weather. The ewes have done well to keep them fed over the cold spell which hit us in April. We are still lacking the usual grass growth we would expect at this time of year but  things are looking a bit better. The lambs are rapidly growing and having great fun  gambolling around the paddocks. Nothing better to see the youngsters enjoying a stretch of the legs and lamb games with each other. The ewes look rather pleased they can get some serious grazing done while they are occupying themselves.

Generally we are pleased with this years crop of lambs with some excellent stocky offspring being produced. The ram's quality has really shone through and hopefully we can keep some of them, improving our breeding flock.

Simon the sheep has been rehomed today and we are very pleased with his new career. He will be a therapy sheep for adults with learning/additional needs at a centre in Lancashire. He will enjoy the pampering and attention he'll get so we were more than happy to donate him to such a worthy cause.

Hopefully we will be basking in warm weather soon and the grass will start to grow with gusto.