Posted on Wednesday, August 15 2012 at 8am
Sue Blacker of Blacker Yarns talks us through one of the most troublesome time on the farm, though the lambs don’t seem that bothered!
This season is all about weaning my lambs, tupping and selling sheep. August is a month for plaintive cries from lambs as they are separated from their mums and weaned. This is what I am not looking forward to this week!
The upset lasts no more than two weeks, while the ewes – probably heaving a sigh of relief – dry off (ie stop producing milk) on a diet of grass only – they would much prefer to continue with the extra feed they have been enjoying, so this is also a challenge!
In these pictures you can see some of the lambs just separated from their mums today – so far they’re much too busy eating feed and grass to have quite noticed!
The lambs have been eating grass for several months now so missing out on their mums’ milk is not a huge transition, and they will still get additional feed as they grow. Once the lambs are fully weaned we can decide what happens next.
For the ewes, it is a decision over whether to keep or sell and which will go with which rams to make next year's lambs. To produce good lambs they need a good healthy grass diet, sometimes with plenty of additional minerals.
For the lambs, it is much the same decision-making – ewe lambs will not go to the rams this year as they are still too young, while ram lambs can do a bit of work or, I hope, be sold to work for other flocks.
I have several potential new Gotland owners waiting to visit and am also hoping people will be interested in my Blue-faced Leicester rams, which are looking very good and strong!
Find out what we're getting up to at the mill!