Lamb Activity and a Few Thoughts
Post date: Aug 03, 2016 7:1:35 PM
As I write this, I am simultaneously running the dishwasher (very full, of course), doing laundry, re-washing some Santa Cruz Island wool, and spinning some SCI wool, also listening to the radio and waiting for Democracy Now...
This morning, we tasked ourselves with castrating ram lambs (with elastrator bands), and ear-tagging this year's ram and ewe lambs. Elastrating - Jim did the actual work while I held the lambs, one by one - is no fun, either for us or for the lambs. However, since our other rams, even the young ones in Peabody's cohort, will pick on newly weaned ram lambs much younger and smaller, and since we really are out of room for more rams, we made the decision to turn this year's "crop" of four ram lambs into wethers. As wethers, they can stay with the main flock, and have long careers as woolers. As far as using the elastrators - we had in the past used these, the tools that crush the cord running from the testicles, and surgical castration performed by a very good sheep surgeon. Surgical castration was very very hard on a mature ram we had, and on a much younger (yearling) ram, so maybe not the best option as long as there are other options. The emasculator (cord crusher) caused the lamb to cry out with pain. We really do not enjoy causing pain. So the bands, in both our opinions, is/are the best choice.
We successfully ear-tagged all lambs male and female, except for the smallest ewe lamb, Starbaby, one of twins out of 7 of 9. She is so small she could slip out of the catch pen right through the panel openings (between the wires). So we couldn't catch her short of running her to exhaustion which we did not want to do. Ear tagging isn't terrible for even an older sheep or lamb so we are going to wait a week, let her get a little bigger, and try again. No problem. She will be number 46 and I need to order more ear tags!
Ewe-lamb Jeanine, our first born this year, has got little horns! I will try to get a photo of her soon.