January 2015 and time to prepare for our Lambing season.
The ewes are due to lamb at the early March, so today we had the scanner here to help identify the number of lambs we might expect. Having been pregnant last year with Rex, I was unable to get involved in any way. This year, however, I have made up for it and with the grandparents looking after our boys I was outside helping!
A total novice, everything ‘hands on’ in farming has been new to me this past year; So any one with more experience than I please understand I am likely to make mistakes… Luke (husband) that includes you!!!
The PD scanner arrived today at 8:50am, Luke had brought the sheep in from the field and everything was set up ready to go. I was armed and ready with marker spray, red & blue, we then decided a blue dot near the head would mean in lamb with a single and a blue dot near the bottom would mean in lamb with Triplets. The red marker was to mark any ewes we found not to be in lamb. We didn’t mark any with doubles (twins) as generally you get more doubles and there is no point marking more than you need to after all spray costs money.
Simon the scanner informed me of some farmers he had worked with that half way through forgot which mark meant what so I was trying to be careful. No point in paying for our ewes to be scanned if I get the marks wrong! I don’t think I would have lived it down either. In total we scanned 140 ewes, shearlings & older; A shearling is a ewe that is over a year old. We have not put our ewe lambs to the ram this year previously we have found they are more difficult to lamb. Some say ewe lambs can go to the ram if they are over a certain weight, 40kg I think, but we chose not to.
30 ewes scanned, Luke had gone to get something leaving me to move the ewes up and concentrate on spraying dots…. not feeling too positive as lots of singles which is not what a farmer wants. Once all the ewes were through our percentage was much better, 175%, for those who don’t know what that means it is simply for every ewe we will get a return of 1.75 lambs. Over the next few years with careful breeding we would aim to increase the percentage to nearer the 200% mark! That is assuming all survive birth, but that I will keep you informed in another blog come march.
Now time for a cup of tea!
Tea is a staple part of Farming life and “put the kettle on Dar’ ” is a common phrase here at Knight Farm. We were given some tea made by The Cornish Tea Company as a ‘stocking filler type gift, and we are now transformed in our taste for tea!! Highly recommended if you are Tea drinkers…..