June was a very quiet month for me, aside from moving sheep around and giving the lambs their second vaccination dose, it was a relatively uneventful month, something which does not happen very often, however, I am back with a bang as July has been filled to the brim with fun packed moments!
It’s been a mixture of farm related and personal achievements all whilst enjoying the lovely sun and warmth July brought with it.
All the lambs have now been weaned. They are weaned at 3 months old here, as this tends to be when the ewes start to wean the lambs themselves and dry up of their own accord. The ewes were angels when separated, they all walk one by one to the next field (except for Flo, there’s always one!) I wish I had managed to film it as I really don’t think it’s a believable story to someone else!
They are now residing in a field far away from their mummies, they are all doing extremely well and all seem pretty happy with their new found independence. They’re all hugely fond of their creep feed which I think has helped massively with the disruption of being spilt from the circumstances they know. One of the ewes stayed in with them for a short while, she was playing nanny and seemed to be quite happy to keep all the little ones in check. I used to do this when I had my mini Shetland stud. We had a lovely little chestnut mare who would never fall pregnant, she was called Tiger-Lily and she spent her days with the mares and foals and then proceeded to stay in with the foals when they were weaned from their mums. It was helped the foals to stay with someone familiar to them.
I know a fair few farmers would scoff at my ‘softness’ but at the end of the day, a stressed lamb’s health can be inhibited and their development hindered, so this is just a policy I like to stick to.
We had a couple of minor casualties with fly, as we had a few days of stormy, humid weather which flies and their offspring thrive on. They were all sprayed but strangely enough the strike was situated in the places you wouldn’t normally spray, the belly for example. Very peculiar when they were all clean and sheared sheep! But I guess it’s one of those very annoying things, and the flies definitely have a strong will to survive… unlike some sheep haha!
My older ewes have been sorted for selling on, I am hoping to sell them on in a group for first timers/smallholders, who just want 4 ewes to start off with. They have all had lambs so I know they are capable of giving birth without problems and are well handled enough to be easy for people with little to no experience to look after. Please feel free to comment if you are interested in purchasing a starter flock! I also would provide the service of helping out with them after purchasing, I’m definitely cheaper than a vet! I could possibly put them in with a ram should you require it, this would save you having to source your own.
However, Ramsey is also going to be looking for a new home, he is a pedigree, papered Ryeland, he is a coloured dilute, which is a dun colour. He is fully vaccinated and up-to-date with worming etc and I have never had any problems with him. He was shown as a lamb and I believe he did quite well. He is 4 years old and is classed as an old hand now! He knows exactly what to do and covered 100% of my ewes. He can be sold with the ewes or on his own. Again, please comment for details. I will also put my email address at the bottom of this post should you wish to contact me that way.
Little Bess dog has had her first season! Bless her heart she coped amazingly and stayed so clean and tidy throughout the 3 weeks. For those concerned about getting a bitch for the reason of not knowing what to do regarding the seasons, it’s really not that big of stress. I was quite concerned myself to start with, as Bess is my first bitch, and although I know all breeds and bitches are different, I was pleasantly (If I can use that term) surprised at how easy to work around it was. I would like Bess to eventually have a litter (or two if all goes well) which is the reason why I have not had her spayed. Obviously this is the best answer should you not wish to breed from your bitch.
We took Bess to her first shows this month too. Bess was one of the worst travellers as a pup, we had full on explosions from everywhere possible along with dribbling more than a mastiff! However, we have worked out a system of lifting her food the previous evening and then taking her for a lovely long walk before we leave. This tires (and empties) her enough for her to be able to settle on the journeys. She was an angel and took everything in her stride. She enjoyed looking at the animals and quite astonishingly, other dogs!
She has made some monumental breakthroughs with training, I switched the shearling ewes out for the group of wethers. I have been training the wethers to follow, split and turn with me. This has helped no end with her training, she will be a pro before we know it!
Bess also had her moment in the spotlight this month as she appeared in the Farmland Magazine’s Favourite Photos section!
I got to inject a cow for the first time this month! I am not a cow fan but this one was owned by a lovely lady who has had a double knee replacement and I was asked to help. Of course, I obliged, even though I had no idea what to expect. The cow was very lame, and I did wonder how cooperative she would be, but I needn’t have worried, she found a comfortable spot in the shade to take the weight off her three working feet! She was an angel, it was amazing to feel how tough their skin is compared to a sheep, but she stayed still whilst I sorted her out, spraying between her toes to kill off any infection which may have been forming.
I have been very fortunate to be given some brilliant advice and pointers by the assistant editor of the Readers Digest on getting into the world of freelance journalism! I will be appearing in their September edition, which I am told is published at the end of August and I am very excited to see the finished product.
I have some exciting times ahead and I hope to be able to start selling some pieces/articles to various magazines and publications to hopefully create a future with my writing!
Again I thank you for reading and I will ‘see’ you next month!