A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Our Animals

Because our block is sloping down to a gully at the boundary, the back paddock is unsafe to mow so we needed to look at getting some four legged mowers.  We were able to buy several Suffolk cross sheep and we started off with seven ewes and one ram.  Three of the ewes were in lamb so it wasn't long before our flock expanded.

We were very excited at the birth of the first set of twins in February.  The second birth was a couple of weeks later, and the male lamb was all black which was brilliant, but unfortunately he only lived for two days.  The third lamb also black, was a female and she has grown so much that she is the same size as the first two who are a month older.

And we have recently welcomed our second pair of twins which now brings our total of 12.  With the winter dry, the flock eats about half a bale of lucerne or oats a day, supplemented by stock feed.  

Once the warmer weather returns, our paddock will have plenty of grass for them, but at the moment it is slim pickings.

We also now have eight chooks who, between them are producing 5-6 eggs per day.  Of course the eggs have those lovely golden yolks that all free range chooks produce.

Unfortunately though, these chooks love to scratch around in my garden and a good number of my agapanthus have suffered at their hands (claws). 

Billy the dog loves to round up the chooks but never hurts them.  He also loves the lambs, licking them through the fence.  They look at him as though thinking "geez you're a weird looking sheep".  Here he is supervising the shearing a couple of months ago.

In the not too distant future we are going to have to make a decision about which sheep to keep and which to sell.  I don't think I can bring myself to eat our own animals - some people say that if you don't kill them yourselves it removes you enough from them, but I don't share that view.  Even the thought of selling one or two is sad to me.

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