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We're getting ready........for lambing

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
Here is our checklist to be completed by early February

Purchase hay square bales for lambing jugs: done
Purchase heat lamp bulbs: done
Repair tilt table: done
Purchase & install rolling stop gate: done
Check and restock lambing supplies: done
Clean and rebed lambing jugs: not done
Give ewes CD&T booster: not done
Purchase grain to feed pregnant ewes: not done

Lambing jug: small pen in our barn to keep ewe with her lambs together but separated from the others just before or just after delivery to ensure good bonding of ewe and lambs, lambs are healthy and well fed, ear tagging of lambs and recording information, and deworming of the ewe. Once all has been completed and the lambs look strong the family is turned loose into the field with the rest of the flock. If one or more of the lambs look weak we might place a heat lamp in the lambing jug to help keep the lambs warm while they are weak. We have 7 permanent lambing jugs, can make use of 3 more locations, and can put up a few more portable pens.

Lambing supplies: USDA Scrapies ear tags, syringes, needles, dewormer, powdered milk, bottles & nipples, tube feeder, injectable antibiotics, lamb puller, nutrient rich liquid, injectable calcium and vitamins, and ewe halter.

The Tilt Table is used to squeeze/confine and flip sheep on their side for checking feet; it saves my back. A rolling stop gate in a sliding gate placed along a cute where the sheep pass single file; the gate will allow use to load the cute with 5-10 sheep, stop them in the cute, and then vaccinate the group before letting them out and reloading.

CD&T Vaccine is for Clostridium perfringens type C and D (overeating disease) and Clostridium tetani (tetanus). Mothers should be vaccinated prior to delivery to increase antibodies going to lambs in utero and in their milk. We haven't had issues with the first two bacteria but tetanus is endemic on our farm.

We are delaying when we start feeding grain because our sheep are "well fed" just on grass and last year we had a few gain too much weight contributing to prolapse (look up sheep prolapse images).


I'll probably rebed the lambing jugs just before the start of lambing.

We’re expecting at least 100 lambs
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M
65 REPLIES 65

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
May have located 2 available LGDs (6yo & 1yo) ~5hrs away on a 700ewe sheep farm.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

Scottiemom
Explorer
Explorer
Beautiful Wendy. Just so sorry for your loss . . . and at such a critical time. I'm praying you can protect your livestock and find the helpers you need.

Dale
Dale Pace
Widow of Terry (Teacher's Pet)

Traveling with Brendon, my Scottish Terrier

2022 Honda Odyssey
2011 Mazda Miata MX-5

2021 Coach House Platinum III 250DT
Fulltimed for 15 years, now living in Florida

http://www.skoolzoutforever.blogspot.com/

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer




I will miss being greeted by Wendy’s woo woo when I come home or go out the back door and into the field.

While we try to sort out new LGD(s) we have set up a temporary night pen for our flock, electrified fenced area close to the house. The ideal would be to have a young or middle aged working adult Kangal or Anatolian Shepherd (short coated lgd) before lambing to be followed with a puppy after the lambs are big enough to tolerate a puppy (spacing their ages).
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
Oh, I'm so sorry..... prayers for the safety of your flock...
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
I'm so sorry, what a shock. While she was a working dog, she was still part of your family.
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV

Scottiemom
Explorer
Explorer
BCSnob wrote:
It was a sad morning; we found Wendy dead on one of her sleeping spots in the field. There were no sign of injury or infection. She was her normal self yesterday.


Oh no, Mark! I am so sorry. I remember so well when you got her. With Sam gone and now Wendy, you don't have any dogs guarding your flock, do you?

So very sad for you.

Dale
Dale Pace
Widow of Terry (Teacher's Pet)

Traveling with Brendon, my Scottish Terrier

2022 Honda Odyssey
2011 Mazda Miata MX-5

2021 Coach House Platinum III 250DT
Fulltimed for 15 years, now living in Florida

http://www.skoolzoutforever.blogspot.com/

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
It was a sad morning; we found Wendy dead on one of her sleeping spots in the field. There were no sign of injury or infection. She was her normal self yesterday.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
We’ve had one die, an expensive ram.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
Ouch!! How do they not get CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy)???
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
The rams get 1 month of time with their ewe group this way we know lambing will only occur during 4 weeks (5 months from breeding). That time is now over. Yesterday we separated the rams from their ewe group and put the rams together in the field where they live. The rams now need to relearn to live together without the company of ewes.

Maaaaaadddddd Rams

There is no good way to stop this; they just need to sort things out.

Yesterday we got confirmation Wendy is doing her job; the next door neighbor shot a large coyote overnight. Several coyotes of this size could take down an adult sheep.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
The prices at the auction were posted; we got ~$2/lb live weight. Compare this to the price per lb for lamb chops or leg of lamb in the grocery store.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
As a city girl, I love the look at where our food comes from (and how much work goes into creating that food)

One of my favorite TV series (from Amazon) is "Clarkson's Farm". TV celebrity/"Car Guy" Jeremy Clarkson decides to take on the management of his large farm in England. He's an animal lover, so there's lots of heartwarming moments with the resident critters - and a ton of laughs. And at the end of a year, when his accountant tells him how much he made - well, Mark's comment about not being a "sheep farmer" certainly makes sense...LOL!
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
Your posts are always an education for those of us not familiar with real farming. Hard work, uncertain compensation and uncertain/unknown obstacles during the year.
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV

BCSnob
Explorer
Explorer
I’ve not written about this time of year in the shepherding calendar; it is market time.

This is when we sell most of this years lambs and those ewes which for whatever reason we are no longer keeping as part of our breeding flock. The dogs help bring the flock into one of our barns where we have a chute system for weighing, trimming hooves, recoding ear tag numbers, and sorting sheep into groups: ewes staying for breeding, ewes going to market, ewe lambs being added to the breeding flock, lambs going to market, and lambs going to our butcher. The dogs enjoy packing the flock to the start of the single file chute.

We try to time our trips to market to just proceed various holidays where lamb is consumed (Rosh Hashanah is next week). We take our best “product” for the times we think will bring the highest price per lbs. Today we took 38 lambs. Grant loaded them on the trailer. Lee came with us to the stockyard to unload the trailer.

38 lambs filled our trailer leaving just enough room for the lambs to move around but not enough for them to be tossed around while traveling. When I opened the trailer back door the lambs packed themselves as tight as possible to the front of the trailer. Lee needs to get get to the other side of the group with only two possible routes: over their backs or under their bellies between their legs (Lee goes under). Once we can get a few to go out the back of the trailer the rest will follow.

Two more loads of sheep to market and 4 lambs to the butcher. Our payday (one time each year) from our 60-70 breeding ewes does not cover our mortgage (which is why I don’t call myself a farmer). I cannot imagine having to budget an entire year on one big payday.

In the next week or two we start our calendar with breeding time.
Mark & Renee
Working Border Collies: Nell (retired), Tally (retired), Grant (semi retired), Lee, Fern & Hattie
Duke & Penny (Anatolians) home guarding the flock
2001 Chevy Express 2500 Cargo (rolling kennel)
2007 Nash 22M

Deb_and_Ed_M
Explorer
Explorer
Awwww, RIP, Sam. I guess I've been hanging around this forum for too long because I remember when you first got him! 13 years is a good life; so sorry for your family's (human and animal) loss
Ed, Deb, and 2 dogs
Looking for a small Class C!