August was always going to be a big month for us. We were due to wean all our lambs, and I was due to give birth. The order of importance is debateable!
We welcomed our daughter, Jess on the 2nd of August. By 2 days old she had ridden up the field in the pickup to check on sheep. At 4 days old she slept through while Dad, Mum and Big Brother weaned all the lambs.
We needed to separate the lambs from their mothers in order to give the ewes a chance to rest and recover before being bred again. A lot of the older lambs were barely drinking milk by this point anyway. We ran them all through the race and gave all the sheep a mineral drench, and we wormed the lambs. We then sorted them all, letting the ewes go one way back to their field, and keeping the lambs back in order to move them to a new field, out of sight and earshot of their mothers. It was quite a job, as we were also sorting ewes and lambs into lots and taking pictures, ready for putting some of them up for sale.
Throughout the month we sold all the ewes that we wanted to move on, and replaced them with new stock. We’re focusing on the Mule breed as they did well for us and are hardy and produce good meat lambs. We also sent our first batch of 4 lambs to the local abbatoir, for sale locally in meat boxes, and sent 2 batches of fat lambs to auction. We made a good price the first time, not so good the second time, but it was a good learning experience for us.
We had pre-orders totalling 2 & 3/4 lambs, so we sent 4 in so we would have a bit extra to cover other orders coming in. That day we sold another whole lamb, and by the time we collected the packed and ready meat it was all spoken for! Unfortunately there was none left for us so we haven’t even tried our own lamb. We are sending another small batch in next week, (mid September) and while we want to sell it quickly, a few cuts for ourselves would be very nice.