Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today I was up at the farm, looking at the lambs that are being cared for as orphans. Some are not, their mums could not feed three, some ewes could only support one lamb. There were a few very small ones and a couple of cutely mottled black and white faced lambs that were quiet though were curious. The others were very noisy the moment a two-leggéd 'animal' came into view. I heard that these quiet lambs were not taking sufficient feed. It was likely they were probably affected by something like baby colic.

The lady farmer has an uncomfortable tum in the mornings. She hit on this simple idea; the morning product she used, which settled her tummy, she thought, might work for her lambs. With a big grin, Mrs Farmer told me that she went to the local store and bought extra amounts of it, and has found that Actimel has worked wonders.:idea:

The beautiful upright black ram which arrived on the farm last year has not left a great deal of evidence of his fecundity.  Another ram had to help out.   Clearly, he has been selective about the company he keeps and which woolly ladies he performs with.  Next year, it is threatened, he is going "to be put out with Angus".


Anonymous said...

i suppose Actimel does make sense, a sheeps innards can't be all that different from our own.

what a let-down though, i never imagined there were fussy rams although being "put out with Angus" seems a trifle harsh on him.

ZACL said...

A bit of male competition may make all the testosterone charged difference. Notwithstanding that, the practicality is that having two rams at work, means that the risk of later lambing is reduced.

From this exchange, I conject that the farmer wants to continue ti use the ram in the hope that a star will be born.

Now, I need clarification of your last comment; is it hard on black ram or on Angus for the two to be put out together?

Anonymous said...

i thought it was hard on the black ram at having another fellow called in to show him how to do it when maybe all he needs is a little time to get the hang of things?

maybe Angus will prove so successful that he'll put the black ram to shame and wither his confidence entirely!

ZACL said...

I love your vocabulary and phraseology.

Black ram, looked every inch a media star, not wanting 'the helmet' to ruffle any of his woolly waves. Another few months maturity and having had a wee taste of what is possible, may make all the difference to his prowess. Then again, it might not. Competition might do the trick.

From the lambs I saw today, there is no doubt, our regal friend had a good idea about what the ladies required; perhaps he couldn't be bothered with the hoi poloi in large numbers. Think of the energy required!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading rural posts like this as I think that I'm really always been a country boy at heart although I've always lived in suburbia! Flighty xx

Anonymous said...

actually, i was wondering how many ewes each ram is required to service and how many days are roughly allowed for him to complete his task...

it must be better to make him wait a while in between so that he can build his appetite up again to prevent his energies becoming too diluted.

ZACL said...

Hi Mr F,

Like you, I am born an bred in suburbia, not far from your bit of it. It's amazing what you can learn. The intricacies of cross-breeding are a bit beyond my ken, as they say, but I get the gist. The farming and rural seasons put another slant on life. xx

ZACL said...

There are a number of young male lambs reserved intact each lambing season. They, like the female lambs are given time to mature, though accidents do occur. 'Teenage' high jinks and consequences.

What appears to happen is, that a ram is padded up in his colour and let loose in the field with some of the woolly girls. There are changeovers, as you see other colour padded rams appear and leave a variety of rainbow coloured evidence of their services. It is shared around a bit.

This farm has planned for 500 ewes to be lambed this year of different breeds. They lamb according to breed, in phases. The hardier ones are lambed early.

Around late August, early September, the first services will start again. It is likely there will be about 3 rams with their colour coded pads at work.

ZACL said...

p.s. Ax, the popular pad colours are black, orange and yellow. Some years I have seen a shade of red.

Anonymous said...

i find it all quite fascinating and feel duty bound to salute the sterling work that those rams do,
i'm sure the ewes fully appreciate it!

ZACL said...

I reckon The ewes and the rams get a 'birthday', however, the ewes have the pregnancy, the difficulties that can arise and all the hard work of delivery, nurturing and caring. The rams get a rest........ till the next time.