Monday, June 26, 2006

weaning again

Well, I can't think of a single funny story about sheep right now. So I will just mention how weaning is going. Now, I have weaned a few times before....I only wean the boys...and girls that are ready to go to new homes....but this year I seem to be super-sensitive.
The first day went well....I have about 40 ram lambs, and grabbed about 8 boys the first day. I tucked them into a pen inside the barn with it's own pasture. The boys can run inside if it rains, and see their moms too.
Now, of course, I expected the moms to want their boys back. I pulled a few who were going on three months old...and I only pulled one of any pair of rams....I figure in a few days the ewe will produce less milk, the second ram will be still sucking....and there is less chance of mastitis.
I have had a couple of ewes get mastitis over the hot weather it can happen really fast. Last year I had one get mastitis even though she had both lambs with her. Perhaps, the ram hit her too hard.
I did pull three younger ram lambs with very large upright horns....they may look good in photos....but I'll bet they hurt when they bang the bag!
I lost a ewe one year when she was injured by her ram lamb and ran off and hid....she was dead when I found her. Strangely....that was kiva's grandmom.
The next day, I thought the ram lambs were being really quiet. Sure enough one of the mom's had pushed on the gate long enough to open it...and all the rams were gone. So I started yesterday to pull the rams again. I can catch the ram lambs when they are all eating grain...but can't get close enough to grab them most of the day.
One of the boys that got out was gallop, one of the real triplets. I caught him right away, because he has an annoying habit of getting out of the fence somewhere along the road....and running through to the back yard. We do have enough faster drivers that a small ram could get hit if he ran into the narrow dirt road.
I also caught a pretty little moorit ram, sprinkles, he has lovely wool...long and just want to grab him to feel it when he walks by. He is a first lamb for Taffy....who comes over morning and night and baas to go in anf feed her ram. Yesterday, I let taffy in and not just her ram lamb but flopsy's ram lamb....the same on Taffy's bag....I guess taffy felt so good to have a lamb sucking that she smelled each wagging brown tail and was still happy.
Then there is Licorice....last season licorice had twin ewes. This year she had a single ram lamb....actually that is Frango. I knew licorice wasn't doing much feeding any more...but morning and night she want's to run in with the other ram lambs anyway....she won't let frango nurse...but she eats side by side with him for a few if to say I'm still here with you, and I still care for you, frango....The ram lambs are really hard to deal with for those brave moms....the girls want out very soon...and I go out and hold the gate open for them.
I think I am up to about 15...two or three must have crawled out under the fence last night....I'm not sure what to do about them...I don't want them to teach everyone how to do that.... and I don't really want to put them in with the big rams yet either. It is surprising that as there are more ram lambs in together...the ones that are new to the weaning pen seem more content. They have even started going out to eat grass again.
I love having the ram lambs together because it much easier to compare fleeces and horns....and size. I sometimes wish all the ewe lambs were friendly. I really like running my hand through the new fleeces. I have one girl...bejig....the first ewe born who makes me catch my breath when she walks by....she has long curly wavy black locks....and I am always surprised when I figure out who she is again.


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