Twins? single? triplets? (…..quads?) scanning the ewes, first year at Cocking Hill!
We’ve been very busy this February. Grass is scarce and typically always a hard month for farming. There is some positive news though…we’ve scanned our ewes, and it went really well!
We scanned at an average of 183% (…the boys did their job!), with a great twinning rate and hardly any triplets of quads. For us, as we lamb everything outdoors, it is crucial that we don’t have two many triplets or quads, as we have to foster them onto the ewes with singles – and it just makes things a bit tricky.
Andy and I didn’t really sleep the night before scanning. Its always a nerve racking time (me more so, as it was the first time I’d been through scanning!). But once we got going the nerves started to go. We’ve now sorted them all out into different groups so that all of the singles, twins, triplets and quads are all in the respective gangs. This will just help us to monitor them carefully and ensure they get the relevant feed they need.
Feeding….this leads me onto talking about FODDER BEET, we have LOADS. Andy’s parents had tonnes of the stuff, all grown on the family farm down the road, we had an artic lorry drop some off (just over 100 tonnes to be exact), last week and Andy and I have been busy buzzing around the ewes feeding them these sugary bundles of joy. The ewes bloody love them! Whenever we turn up with a beet delivery they all sprint over and get tucked in straight away. We’ve also been able to graze the kale from the Cowdray shoot that takes place on the farm, as the shoot season has now come to an end, the sheep have really enjoyed tucking into that and its all stayed remarkably fresh. Other than that we’re still grazing the good old turnips and hopefully this will last us another few weeks. Every week of grazing counts until the weather warms up and the grass starts growing again!
We are gearing up for our first year lambing on the farm….eeeek. I’m so nervous, but excited at the same time! As we outdoor lamb, we don’t start until its a bit warmer in April. So for the next few weeks we will be batch cooking so we have plenty of food/cakes at the ready, making some pens for the shed in case we have any orphans or ill ewes, and trying to get as much sleep as possible!
Gathering the ewes in for scanning in the good old Prattley
Electric fencing on the hill Beets, glorious beets Standing in the kale, ewes engulfed in the background Strip grazing the turnips
The girls tucking into the beets