The last few years I’ve kept track of the lambing statistics in the Drysdale & English Leicester flocks). I call these “LambMetrics”.
Hopefully, they provide a little insight into the real-life “goings-on” here.
#LAMBMETRICS for the day
Drysdale & English Leicester Flocks
Born today: 3
Total Lambs Born: 3
Drysdale lambs (live total): [no purebreds in 2019]
DrysdaleX lambs (total): 2
English Leicester lambs (live total): 1
Total Sets of Twins born: 1
Total Sets of Triplets born: 0
Total ewe lambs: 1
Total ram lambs: 2
Ewes lambed /68: 2 (2.9 %)
Lamb % : 150 % [live]
Notable Midwifery tales:
This year lambing is (deliberately) a little later than usual. The season was very “ordinary” earlier in the year so the decision was made to not join the commercial flocks of Merino and Castledale and only the stud flocks (English Leicester & Drysdale) would be joined.
Better late than never though! The official “due date” is from tomorrow – but two girls decided they just couldn’t wait any longer.
So, our first English Leicester is a lovely little ewe lamb to one of the experienced ewes.
And there was a very calm Drysdale ewe who had twin boys. This year the Drysdale ewes were put to White Suffolk rams rather than Drysdale. This means that if the season looks to be poor at the end of the year the lambs can be sold on which reduces the grazing pressure on the farm over the dry summer months.
However….. the Drysdale ewe was not alone! There was a younger ewe hovering around the lambs and getting a bit keen that she should “have one too”! The strong maternal instinct is a wonderful thing in the Drysdales but it can manifest in some dedicated “lambnappers”!! So, to remove the extra ewe from the scene the lambs had to be carried to the paddock gate and then the ewes could be sorted – leaving the new mum and her bubs free from interference as they bonded. Luckily, most Drysdale ewes can count!
Having quiet ewes is really important as each morning and evening the ewes are calmly shifted between a day paddock and a night paddock. (Hopefully, some of you were able to see the live Facebook video we did when moving the sheep recently?) It enables us to drift off the pregnant ewes from the new mothers and lessens the lambnapping incidents.
As an example of how quiet the ewes can be – when a lamb has been born we check them out and tag them (another important tactic to match the right lamb with the right mother!) The ewes don’t run away as they are very used to us. The ewes will also follow us when we carry the lambs up the paddock to change paddocks.
So, that is it for today! The new bubs are tucked into the shed tonight as -3 is forecast overnight. The DrysdaleX lambs don’t need extra shelter (so much wool already!) but I’ll sleep better knowing the English Leicester is in the shed.
Hopefully, we will have more lambs tomorrow!