Lambs Category

  • Lamb 2

    Adventures, birth, Lambs, SheepComments (1)

    On March 29, 2014 • By

    I’ve been totally KOd for the past 24 hours with a cold. I’m trying to nip it in the bud today and tomorrow, so that I’m not under the weather for the whole week. I haven’t been near the sheep all day, until my neighbour pointed out that another lamb has arrived!

    A cracking ewe lamb.

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  • Lambing begins

    Adventures, birth, Lambs, SheepComments (3)

    On March 26, 2014 • By

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    Yes, the day is finally here. My first lamb arrived in the middle of the most glorious weather we’ve had this year.

    Today was my first early start to check the sheep, as the sheep weren’t due to start until today anyway. I’ve been keeping an eye on them, but this was my first time in before 6am.

    Anyway, mid-morning I noticed one sheep on her own. She was due to be one of the first to lamb, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I told myself it was just a coincidence.

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    A couple of hours later, I was doing some work in the same field and all the sheep came out to see me. Except for one. She came out part of the way, then stopped, lay down and out popped the lamb. What a beauty.

    A really nice ewe lamb. Definitely a keeper, if it develops as it should. Didn’t take long for it to get on it’s feet. Delighted!

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  • Blindness

    Adventures, Agricultre, Lambs, Medicine, SheepComments (1)

    On March 25, 2014 • By

    So I’ve been away for a few days and I’m greeted on my return by 11 sheep suffering from ‘an duille’, when the eye goes kind of grey/opaque and the sheep goes temporarily blind (as long as she’s treated).

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    This picture is one of the two sheep that are suffering the most, the others are only showing slight symptoms.

    It’s not unusual, especially during wet weather. The problem is that it’s highly contagious, so it’s spread between sheep when they’re close together for feeding. I’ve had similar issues before, triggered by an eye which burst and spread infection, but this isn’t as bad.

    I had to move the sheep to their lambing fields today, anyway, so I penned them while I was doing that. My father thought he spotted 4 with it, but I found another 7. They have been separated from the rest of the flock and will be treated with opticlox over the next few days.

    I have no concerns about the sheep, they and their lambs will be fine. I hope.

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  • Progress

    Adventures, Agricultre, birth, Ducks, Lambs, Poultry, SheepComments (0)

    On March 23, 2014 • By

    I’ve been quite quiet on here in the past fortnight, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been at home for the past 2 Saturdays. Last week I was in Inverness for the day, and I’m in Cambridge this weekend, visiting my brother Innes, with my brother Murdo. Here we are attending Charlton v Burnley yesterday, as part of our day out in London. It wasn’t a very good game….

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    Last month, I made public my plans for Air An Lot 2.0. I have been working away on this, behind the scenes, and have secured grant funding from Comunn na Gaidhlig (CnaG) for 65% of the cost of a new, bilingual, website. This site/blog won’t be affected, as I enjoy having the vent for all my activities, but I will be incorporating it into the new site. I also need to finalise my application for grant assistance to CnaG for bilingual external signage.

    That’s that side of things taken care of, but I’ve also put a lot more thought into what activities I will be offering. I have drawn up a list and costed them, but I’d be happy to hear suggestions anyone has, or any enquiries about attending. You can comment here, or private message the Air An Lot facebook page.

    Back on the croft, there has been plenty of activity. The incubator has been switched on again, this time with some duck eggs. I hope to see some movement here around the 14th of April. I’m a wee bit worried, though, as I bought the eggs off the internet and the packaging was damaged. We’ll see what happens!

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    The most exciting time of year is just days, maybe hours away. I’m expecting the first lambs over the next couple of days – I cannot wait. There are 3 Cheviots due to lamb this week, with the rest in the days after. I’ve felt a bit of stress recently, with my day-job and freelance work, but hopefully lambing will provide a good distraction – and plenty of physical stress!!

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  • Busy weekend

    Agricultre, Lambs, Sheep, tractorComments (2)

    On March 10, 2014 • By

    I write this on Monday morning, as I prepare to head to Uist for a couple of days. I should be finishing packing my bag, but there is always something more interesting to do than that!

    It is a gorgeous morning here, probably the best we’ve had so far this year. I’ve fed the sheep and made sure
    the hens have enough food and water until I return on Wednesday. Mornings like this make it hard to go to work though

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    It’s in stark contrast to the weather we had over the weekend; force 9 gales and showers. This was the forecast for Saturday

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    That didn’t mean a day off though, I still had to feed all the animals, and I also had to move the sheep to fresh grazing.

    I walked them down the road and also took them a fresh bale of hay. That’s 4 of my 6 bales gone already.

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    The lambs also got a feed, along with a bale of silage. They love this stuff, smells so sweet too!

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    Some of them take it a bit far though…..

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    I’d better go pack my bag now…..

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  • A new(ish) helper

    Adventures, Agricultre, Chickens, death, Dog, Lambs, Poultry, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I had a busy day on Saturday, but made a little easier by my new assistant. Uisdean here has helped me on the croft sporadically for the last couple of years, but should be more regular for the next few months as he is volunteering with me as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. Here he is in a typical pose, having helped me drench the hoggs.

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    My brother Martin is now a regular when it comes to Saturday morning chicken chores and he was with us too. He collected the eggs, while Uisdean & I cleaned out the house. It’s a lot dirtier when we’ve had some wet weather. The hens spend more time indoors, pooing inside and dripping water on the floor. Nice.

    After that, we fed the sheep and then went to bury the ram that had died . We had to take him in to the machair to make it easier. Of course I was going to take advantage of having an able assistant – he has to learn how to do these things!

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    (I removed the turf and first spade depth of soil, he did the next)

    The hoggs were next. I didn’t want to have to start making a pen or move them to a new field for penning, so Bud came in handy. Didn’t take a minute to corner them & he held them in place while I drenched them.

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    That was it then, another busy but enjoyable Saturday. Next week will be quiet as we have our first pre-season (football) friendly in Harris against a Uist team. I’ll have to leave home around 9am for 11am kick off and who knows when we’ll be home!

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  • Starting Feeding

    Adventures, Lambs, SheepComments (0)

    On February 16, 2014 • By

    I had quite a quiet day yesterday. Did boring stuff like catch up on housework but I had an important step to take in terms of the sheep. The first lambs are due 6 weeks tomorrow and feeding them starts in earnest now. They were scanned on Tuesday, so I now know which are empty & how many lambs are in the others. The twins and triplets are right beside my house, so I had to bring feeding troughs to them. This is when the tractor and buck rake came in handy!

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    These are the singles. They get less feed than the twins. I’ll be feeding the sheep every single day now, until lambing.

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  • Odd jobs

    Agricultre, Chickens, Lambs, SheepComments (3)

    On February 13, 2014 • By

    My sheep were scanned on Tuesday, but I hadn’t sorted them or taken them home, so I did that today. I had left them out in our apportionment and it’s a quick walk back to the fank (dash it, I just remembered I forgot to close the apportionment gate!!)

    The sheep were behaving today, and strolled straight in to where I wanted them.

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    I drenched them all for fluke and split my twins & triplets from singles. Not happy with the number of twins but what can you do!

    I walked the singles home, before coming back out in the dark for the others with the trailer.

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    I hope to get some painting done now, over the next couple of days. I want to paint my chain harrows and also my small hen houses. I have three of them and think I’ll maybe sell one of them, I’d anyone is interested. This one is sitting in the barn now, having been cleaned, and will be painted soon.

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  • Scanning 2014

    Adventures, Lambs, SheepComments (0)

    On February 12, 2014 • By

    Phew. That’s scanning done for the year, and it wasn’t too awful. Last year’s scanning & lambing was a total disaster; I ended up with about 35 lambs from almost 60 sheep put to the ram. So from last year’s 60%, I’m looking at around 120% this year – that is 12 lambs for every 10 sheep. I was hoping for 150%, but I suppose I should be satisfied with that.

    I took the sheep out this morning, walking them out to the fank.

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    The sheep were penned and left until the scanner arrived. We all set up and held our collective breath

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    As you can see, the weather was actually quite nice. We had snow showers before and after, but it stayed nice and dry while we were out.

    It wasn’t long before my sheep were going through.

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    I had to rush off as soon as we finished, so I haven’t been able to get definitive numbers, but I’m looking at two thirds of them having singles, a quarter twins, 3-4 empty and TWO sets of triplets. I was delighted with the triplets, to be honest, as the sheep should be able to raise them on her own. They’re some of the Roussin crosses I got last year. One Roussin with 3, one with 2 and one empty. The other triplet is a Suffolk-cross,from the same place.

    I’ve left the sheep in the apportionment until I’m off on Thursday, so I’ll sort them on Thursday – can’t wait!

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  • I love Saturdays

    Agricultre, Chickens, eggs, Lambs, Poultry, Sheep, tractorComments (1)

    On February 1, 2014 • By

    Today was an extremely satisfying day.

    Started off by helping a neighbour, Donnie, take home one of his lambs that had been a bit poorly. A refreshing spin in a tractor trailer is a good start to any day.

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    I then moved my own lambs from behind my parents’ house to another field, which offers more shelter. Bud helped me move them and I gave them a bale of haylage – they love it.

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    My ewes are due to be scanned a week Tuesday (11th) and are currently at the bottom of the croft. I took them a big bale today, which should last them until then.

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    This was the first time in a couple of months that I had the tractor out. I haven’t put it back in the barn, as I fear I may need it to feed the sheep, should we get snow soon. They’re happy enough as they are though.

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    Last activity on my hitlist was cleaning out the hen house. I’m actually enjoying doing this, now I’ve discovered how good the snow shovel is at cleaning it!

    Eggs are coming thick & fast now. Think I had 6 dozen this week and numbers increase every day.

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