Rams Category

  • A quiet(ish) Saturday

    Agricultre, Chickens, eggs, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On November 2, 2013 • By

    From now until May, Saturdays are going to be busy. The days are much shorter, so I don’t get anything done during the week, meaning all my chores have to be squeezed into a few hours on Saturday. Today was the real start of my winter, but I took it quite easy!

    My hens have been in the new hen house & run for a week now. I’ve had no problems at all, until I emerged from the house this morning, to be greeted by THIS:

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    No idea at all how it escaped. I put it back in and then decided that it was time to clean out the henhouse.

    The hens have been there permanently for a week now, but 10-20 have been using it for around a month, so it needed cleaning out. It stank. Wasn’t nice. I got it done!

    As I was topping up the feeders & the water, I thought that it would be so much easier if I could have the food stored nearby, instead of out at the house or barn. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but decided to get my finger out today. I went down to the Habost Amenity Site – waste/recycling point on the site of the old dump – still referred to as the dump locally. There, I ‘recycled’ this fine storage unit.

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    Yes, it’s an old freezer! Judging by the sheep feed in the bottom, another crofter had been using it as a similar store.

    That’s it now beside the hen house, with half a bale of straw and some bags of feed in it. With the lid anchored down by the biggest stone I could find.

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    My parents have been away for the last couple of days, so I went out to theirs to feed the cats. I had a wee chuckle to myself when I saw the cats waiting for me!

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    Why do cats love boxes so much?

    I have 7 chicks in the barn. They are coming on nicely and I let them out every day. They’re funny wee animals, they sleep in behind one of the freezers!

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    One last thing to do, I checked the sheep to make sure the rams have been doing their thing. The cheviot I got last week has been doing his thing (yellow marks)

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    He has served 3/4 of his 20+ sheep, but the Suffolk hasn’t done ANY of his. Not time to ring any alarm bells just yet, but I caught him today, just to make sure his harness was properly fitted.

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    I tightened it up a wee bit, so hopefully I’ll see some orange markings on the sheep soon!

    Bud came in with me too. Here he is flying over the fence!

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  • Rams let loose

    Agricultre, Lambs, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On October 25, 2013 • By

    There are a couple of boys on the croft who have been waiting impatiently for this day – and it’s finally come.

    I got my sheep ready yesterday and let the boys out to do their thing today. First of all, I had to pick up the new ram that I had agreed to buy. I popped down to the other end of Ness for him.

    Here he is with Duncan Mackinnon, former Traditional winner at the Mòd and stockman for the people I’m buying him from.

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    I took him home, drenched him and fitted him with his lingerie! A harness which holds a paint block, which then marks the sheep that the ram had served. This lets me know that a) the ram is doing his thing and b) when each sheep has been served.

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    I then let him loose with the ewes, didn’t take him long to introduce himself!

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    That’s the Cheviot out, the Suffolk was also let loose with his half of the animals. Now all I have to do is wait!

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  • Sheep & stress

    Agricultre, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On October 24, 2013 • By

    This morning was stressful. I’d been informed that I had been chosen for a ‘count’ of my sheep. Basically an audit of my animals and my records. The animals weren’t an issue, but the records were! I was up and at ’em and out at the sheep at 7am today, getting everything ready for 9.30.

    Of course things don’t go to plan when you’re under pressure! A couple of sheep broke away and ended up behind someone’s house, with one of them facing-off with Bud on top of a peat-stack!

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    didn’t take long to get them all penned and then we sat down to go through the records. It took around 2.5 hours in total, most of it at the kitchen table, and around 30 mins checking all the tags in the sheep.

    It took a while to go through them all, right back to when electronic tagging began in 2010. Let’s just say I know have a MUCH better idea of what I should be recording. I’m just glad to get through it without too much hassle.

    Seeing as I had all the sheep in the fank, I decided to do some work.

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    I am using 2 rams this year, on nearly 50 ewes, so I split up the ewes, depending on which ram they were going to. They’re all back on the croft now, ready for the rams to be let loose.

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    The sheep are waiting and the rams are keen!

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    If they’re lucky, them might get out tomorrow.

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  • Panic!

    Agricultre, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On October 15, 2013 • By

    Several months ago, I had agreed to buy a ram lamb off another Ness crofter. I need a new Cheviot ram, as I lost my own ‘Big Fellow’ last winter. He’d served me well and was the best & friendliest ram I ever had.

    Here he is eating from my hand, last winter.

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    So, back to the ram lamb I’d agreed to buy. Because it was all in order, I hadn’t looked at any other options or thought about it at all. I saw the other crofter on Monday morning and he said that he’d be gathering them later and I could come down for it.

    I did that, only to be told the lamb had died on the machair!

    Uh-oh. I made a quick call to one of my pals, Coinneach Roddy (his family flock have their own Facebook page) and he we have agreed the purchase of a Shearling. Phew!

    I’ll pick him up later on this week.

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  • 3 Surprise Losses

    Agricultre, Chickens, Poultry, Rams, SheepComments (1)

    On April 29, 2013 • By

    As many of you will be aware, this has been a disastrous winter for me. I can’t believe how many sheep I’ve lost and I thought that it was over. I was wrong.

    I was playing football on Friday night and came home some time after 10. I went out to my parent’s house and my father told me that someone had found one of my ’empty’ sheep dead in the village park. Empty meaning she had been scanned as having no lamb. I wish he hadn’t told me so late in the evening, I couldn’t sleep after hearing that.

    I went out on Saturday morning to collect her, and take the carcass in to the machair to bury. It’s much easier to bury a sheep in the sandy machair land, rather than anywhere else.

    She was a Blackface. Not old, not young. No idea what caused it.

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    Shortly after finishing burying that sheep. I got another phonecall. One that I was dreading. The Big Fellow, my biggest ram, the best one I’ve ever had and a big, friendly beast, was found dead in the village park. This was due to be his final year, as he was getting old, but I was gutted that he went out this was. Such a great beast. I’m not going to post a picture of him now, but this one of him from a couple of years ago. He would walk up to the door of the house and eat food out of my hands. He will be missed.

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    The other loss was a hen. She was found dead in the shed. Not too disappointed as she was an older one that wasn’t laying any more.

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  • Rams playing

    RamsComments (1)

    On April 7, 2013 • By

    I put the rams out into the village park yesterday, with the rams of 2 or 3 other people. I thought it was quite funny how the reacted to each other!

    [wpvideo V4DIFmR7]

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