Lambing is over (I think.) The ewe lamb I kept from the 2012 lamb crop has not given me a lamb so it is possible that I will have one (or two) more lambs but not likely at this point. Total percentages were down from past seasons. This year I had 13 ewes lamb and only 21 lambs. I lost two of the smaller lambs so have 19 lambs. Given that I initially thought none of the sheep had been bred, that is still 19 more lambs than I expected in early February. Tagging and banding will take place this coming week.
After two easy years of lambing I was unprepared for the trouble experienced this year. It did, however, highlight some changes to implement next year before lambing season begins. My mentor has been telling me for two years now that I need a grafting gate but somehow when it isn’t lambing season there are too many other things that take precedence. Of course that means that when I need it, like this year, it is too late. So a grafting gate is being moved up on the priority list. I will also start next season with an empty pen for sheep in addition to the lambing jugs. Keeping ewes that have lambed in one pen and ewes that haven’t yet lambed in another should eliminate the problems I had this year with not being able to tell what ewes just lambed and who needed to be moved into the lambing jugs. Fourteen ewes do not sound like a lot of sheep until they are all milling around and one is trying to use a flashlight to identify them.