This month has been all about sheep.
At the beginning of the month, Animal Health carried out routine testing for brucellosis. Thankfully we were all clear, it hasn’t been present in Scotland for years now, so we didn’t want to be the ones who upset the apple cart!
Later than we hoped, we managed to separate the ewes that were to join one of our tups. We were aiming for the beginning of September but were two weeks behind schedule. Nevertheless they are all together now and we will be looking forward to lambs around March next year.
Once we had those sorted it was time to pick the lambs from this years crop that we would keep. There was no real formula, just ones we liked the look of or who came from our favourite ewes.
With that done the remainder would be sold at the local mart. Before that could happen they needed to be smartened up for their appearance in the ring.
We built a pen and rounded up a couple of ewes and the rest of the lambs. All without the aid of Jack, he’s not quite ready yet, but he has been practising! The only exit from the pen, was our “new” (to us anyway) sheep turner. Our beasts are not small, they are probably the size of a shetland pony and are not easy to upend for routine work. This device grips them securely and then turns them upside down so that you have full access and they can’t get away. It still takes a bit of muscle to flip them but it’s much easier than alternative methods, plus the fact you no longer have to bend.
With them incapacitated on their backs like a beetle, we happily trimmed their feet, re-tagged any that were necessary and chopped off any grubby fleece.
We were done in no time and they were looking smart. Hopefully they will command a good price at the market.