I am not sure what has happened, but in the last three days we have had gusty winds, strong enough to blow the chairs off the deck, coupled with below average temperatures! Grass is always a problem for us, as we are still in the process of re-developing pastures and with the weather we have had in the last couple of weeks, everything seems to standing still. Unfortunately, we have all added our own pressures on our pastures -Mike raises Belted Galloway cattle, and pastures Large Black pigs. Jen has her own herd of Jersey and Jersey cross animals as well as about 150 pasture raised laying hens and then there are the meat birds who are also pasture raised and then we get to the sheep ... so our pastures are stretched to the limit.
We have had some winter damage and less than good catches on last year's seedings. So, I am trying to figure out how I can downsize the sheep flock to ease some of the pressure that we are expecting this summer.
You will notice that I have listed the Charollais ram that we bought last fall and hope to list the BFL x NCC mule ewes for sale as well in the next couple of weeks. Much as it pains me to do so, I am also going to cut back drastically on my BFLs and Gotlands . I will be identifying ewes, yearling ewes, and lambs to sell this spring and summer so if you are interested in getting started in either BFLs or Gotlands, this might be the opportunity that you are looking for. Watch the "Sale" pages for updates as I begin the process of identifying and photographing the animals that I am prepared to part with!
April 22, 2013
We have had an outstanding lambing season here at Ranfurly Farm. There are 47 lambs on the ground from 21 ewes so we are looking at a lambing percentage of around 225%. With nine sets of triplets arriving this spring, it is hardly surprising that the percentage is so high!
On the left, twin ewe lambs out of my Gigrin Kite grandson Norman.
|Blue Dragon granddaughter|
|One of the Gotland ram lambs out of Marty - look at the fleece on his already!|
We had the usual number of issues - a tail first lamb (survived!), a head first lamb (didn't make it) and a sidewise lamb in a set of triplets that is holding its own.
I don't know what I would do without Mike's expertise in these matters, he is an absolute master at sorting out what is going on and getting the lambs out alive.
For those of you wanting to know what might be available for sale in the fall, here is a summary of our arrivals!
From my Blue Dragon son: 6 ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs
From my Gigrin Red Kite grandson: 5 ewe lambs (one is black patterned) and 4 ram lambs
( My coloured BFL X ewe had a coloured ewe lamb - she is 7/8 BFL)
All from "Marty" 5 ewe lambs (2- 62% and 3-82%) , 5 ram lambs and 1 wether.
Our grand experiment this year was to breed my BFL Mule ewes and 4 BFL ewes to a Charollais ram. The BFLxCharollais lambs are as long as freight trains and growing like stink. The Charollais lambs for the mules are not quite a long but have the same growthiness. There are 6 ewe lambs which might make good commercial prospects and 11 wethers in this group.
I will post photos in the next few days as the sun is finally shining and that makes everything look better!