So every year we get to this time of the year and think that we need to separate out the lambs, and move the ewes and Muga around and really get things ready for him to start covering them. And every year we continue to think about it until around October time, when it’s a little late to do anything about it.
To be fair last year we also had the added excitement of a partially castrated lamb covering the few ewes I did manage to separate out (and I have every hope that this wont recur this year!).
This year, for the first time, not only did we think about it, but we actually did it! First we caught all the sheep together. Now as many previous posts have asserted, this isn’t always an entirely easy thing to do. However we have a new technique. First of all we get the lambs used to coming into the two fenced areas next to the animal restaurant over a couple of days. Then on the day we need to catch them we close the gates on them while they’re all eating away, and shepherd them into one of the two areas.
This is where we’ve added a new technique to our arsenal. We get a while bunch of sheep hurdles and create a line across the area, and make sure they;re all on one side. And then we walk the line of hurdles until we have them in a nice tight area. It takes a while, but it works brilliantly, and keeps them fairly calm while we’re doing it.
The other challenge with separating the ewes from the lambs, is that the ewes will follow us, and the feed bucket, without trouble. The lambs however are a lot less excited about it. So today when we separated them out, we left all the lambs (and the OAPs) in the area surrounded by the hurdles, and separated out the ewes and Muga. We then led them into the other field by simply carrying a bucket of feed in front of them. It was then easy to close the gate, and the separation was complete!
Muga is now in with three Mules, four Suffolks, three Soays, and Luke’s sister.
All of the lambs, both last years, and this years, and the OAPs are now in the home field, with the cows and the Alpacas. This means I should be able to catch them when it’s time for them to go on holiday, or if I manage to sell some more. Which is great!