Summer started off well this year, thanks to the fantastic spring rains. We went into December with plenty of grass and fat, contented sheep grazing the hill sides.
In the first week we got an early Christmas surprise with the arrival of two lambs! What happened there?! One of the mothers was one of last year’s lambs so she would’ve cycled later (being her first season). The other mother is a naughty red-tag (2014 drop) who had gotten out of the paddock when we put the rams in. Of course, when we moved the rams away from the ewes at the end of joining, we happened to put them in the same paddock that this particular ewe had escaped to. So she didn’t get away with her antics entirely. Both are good mothers and we will see how they go as summer progresses.
We weaned the rest of the lambs from their mothers and started training them onto the pellet feeding. This involved putting them in a 1Ha containment paddock with the feeder. We mixed blue dye through the feed so that we could see which ones ended up with bright blue noses, showing that they’re the ones eating the pellets. Every few days we drafted out the blue-nosed ones to another paddock with another feeder allowing the shy feeders to have a try of the pellets. We have found this job much easier this year as most of the ewes have taught their lambs that the feeder is a yummy (and desirable) place. As always though, some will be stubborn and will need to be force-fed to show them how nice the pellets are.