In my last post, everything was mud. Not long after, we were able to get the animals out on grass, moving them through the pasture. There were a few more encounters with mud, since that is how the spring weather tends to go, but now we are dry and warm!
We have been moving the paddocks daily, prioritizing both the health of the flock and that of the grasses. As a result, the lambs are growing fast, the ewes are maintaining condition, and the pastures are looking fantastic. Each year we learn more, and this year we have made some crucial changes in how we manage for parasite control and forage access. We will keep you updated as we see the effects of our decisions on our flock. We have hopes for fast-growing lambs and healthy, resilient ewes on vibrant, diverse pastures.
So far our lambs have been growing fast, and have had no health problems! The Texel cross lambs are living up to the expectation of being meat hunks. Not all of them are the biggest, but they are all the roundest!
Our children enjoy helping with the sheep. Feeding lambs is their favorite task! We had a few lambs that needed bottles this year, and the Scrap Attack, pictured below, is the last one to be weaned. Scrappy, as we call her, got her leg broken at about a week old, and subsequently lived in the house for a couple weeks as she healed. Her leg is fully healed now, and she is a spunky critter who earned her name. She was less than 3 pounds at birth, thus ‘Scrap’, and a feisty little thing who enthusiastically goes after what she wants; thus ‘Attack’.
Bluebell’s single ewe from this year is a pretty thing with a gentle, mild personality.
One of Aina’s twin girls, curious and shy.
#1115, our highest producing ewe. The three years we have had her she has had litters of 4, 5, and 6 lambs. Unfortunately the quints and sextuplets did not all survive due to birthing complications, but the lambs that did live were raised well, since she has plenty of milk!
Clementine, the Guernsey cow, is due with her first calf, so we are keeping her near the house to better keep an eye on her!
Since cows don’t like to be alone, Cleo, the Jersey we are currently milking, is staying with her for company. It also makes it easier at milking time! When the cows are in the back pasture it sure takes a while to bring them back and forth for milking!
Until next time….