Saturday, April 02, 2016

Banding Lamb's Tales

We banded the lamb's tails last week end. We usually do them at a week old but Ken's been away in North Carolina so we got to it as soon as he returned home. We do this because long tails tend to get dirty and attract flies. Believe me, it can get ugly under there! Banding is a simple procedure and while it looks like it should be painful, the lambs go straight back to running around after their Mum like nothing has happened. The end of the tail, below the band will shrivel and fall off in about 7 days. Most lambs have a triangle of bare skin on the underside of the tail. We usually put the band right at the point of the triangle, where the wool starts. You may be able to just make out the bare skin on this lamb's tail. Every so often we get one that has no bare skin at all. In that case we just have to make a decision. I don't like to go too short. If you look at the Momma sheep, someone really went to town on her. She doesn't have much of a tail at all. I don't like to go so short.

Anyway, here are the lambs, enjoying a bit of freedom and green grass about 3 minutes after their tails had been banded. As you can see, they're growing like weeds, though their Momma is still rather thin. Since getting the first taste of spring grass, she's been turning her nose up at her hay. Unfortunately, we can't just turn them out on grass full time, they have to be re-introduced to grazing in short spells to avoid bloat. We're now up to a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the afternoon/evening - plus hay and some grain.  I alternate them with the rams so that everyone gets a turn.

Hoping to get some shearing done this weekend if the weather forecast is good. 

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