Thursday, February 5, 2009

lamb crisis - over - for now

That rapscallion, Owen the Ram, got into the ewe's paddock last autumn for about an hour before I hooshed him out and surprise, surprise, a lamb gets born 150 days later  - GRRR.

I was taken unawares - dog tried his best to tell me what was happening but I didn't look in the right place i.e. take a torch to the dark pasture in the night and have a look so I didn't find the poor lamb until next morning. Neighbor says "That's sheep for ya"  but it should be "That's shepherds for ya" as it was my stupidity that let him crash the fence in the first place. So now I was jiggered - lambs not due to born until April - and hoping for twins at that (not likely if he hailed ewe for only an hour) - and I didn't know how many ewes he'd nailed. SO had to advance the pre-lambing routine i.e. bring them up to the nice, clean, saved grass near the house (to give the lambs a good start and to keep them away from the fox). I did this for 2 weeks - no more lambs I'm relieved to say - so they are all down in the lower, rougher but more varied pasture farther away. They've had their supplements (100 gm/day of kibble) for January and this will up to 200 gm/day for 1/2 february then gradually up to 600 gm by end March - depending on how much grass is left. Sort of back on schedule except 2/3 of my lambing paddock is all mucked up now. Will have to rake it off and apply the "goodness" to new plant beds I'm trying to set up. 
Silage bales have been hanging around since last Autumn - which was a nuisance as they occupy a small paddock I set up as part of my little pasture rotation and to accommodate the rams at times. I thought they were sold and would be taken but they went through their coffee, then cinnamon, then yucky smells in sequence and didn't move. I put the ewes in there for a spell, but when I saw one of them (known as Divine - a Leicester type cross) undoing and pulling off the plastic seals, I had to rush and put an electric net round it. Now, this net is needed in other places at other times so many net-moving operations had to happen over the past several months - a big pain in the A.
 I saw Ferim Factor on TG4 and I'd like to suggest electric net moving and replacing as a task for the young hopeful - would produce some amusing scenes and some "Bleeps" I'm sure.  On that theme, Thursday night has been Wellie night for us recently - with Feirm factor, the trio trying to live and work on a Victorian farm on BBC and ear to the ground - good stuff. But, I digress - the silage bales have departed :). A neighbor took them yesterday - three cheers!! and he was a lovely man to chat with too - always a bonus - and his wife knits - so maybe she will join the little knitting circle in Mullingar.
SO - all is well - or is it? About to go out an feed the hoodlums outside.

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