Thursday, April 4, 2013

2013 Lambing Notebook - Installment #6

As of this evening, we're just about done lambing - only 3-15 ewes left to lamb.  Within the next week, we'll be entirely done.  All in all, it's been a successful lambing season.  While I would have liked more precipitation during the spring, the dry weather made lambing easy this year - we had a tremendous survival rate.

Today, I decided I needed to put some of the ewes and their lambs through a footbath - the recent wet weather has resulted in some foot-scald in the sheep (a bacterial infection that causes lameness).  A footbath of zinc sulfate in water clears this up, so today (despite the rainy weather) was the day to get the work done. Moving ewes and young lambs is always a test of my dogs (and me) - and Taff and Mo performed admirably bringing the sheep in from the paddock.

On a down note, when we gathered the sheep today, I discovered a large lamb that had died overnight - the first lamb we've lost so far.  Hard to tell why the lamb had died - sometimes it just happens.

On a much more positive note, I had to use our young dog, Ernie, to help move the ewes and lambs back from the corrals to the pasture.  Ernie has been a bit of a wild man, but since my old man Taff (who's 9) was pretty worn out, I brought in Ernie as a reinforcement.  He was great!  He listened, took commands, and treated the sheep well - I couldn't have been more happy with him!

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