Sunday, 4 September 2011

Week Thirteen - Fifteen

Hi again
I am so sorry about not writing anything for a while because I have been up north for a month and there is no Internet connection.

I have been working non stop. I went up on the 5th of August and started work that night.
The next day we weaned the cheviot Texel lambs off their mothers and gave them some mineral drench (two different types). We got 70 lambs off the ewes (they were all twins sire by a Suffolk tup) and 7 fattening ewes for Market at Acklington. After that we took them to the field where they will be for about three to seven weeks ( for most of them because they need to go to Market). After lunch we moved the pure texels in to the pens and weaned the lambs.
The next day we went up to the hill farm and brought in the Blackface ewes with their mule twin lambs. We sparated the wether lambs from the ewe lambs.We took the wether lambs down to the main farm (my uncle rents 3 farms. One is a hill farm which we have had for years, one is the main farm and the other is a lowland farm called Rock) and left the ewe lambs up there.
Later on in the week I went up to my other uncle's farm and helped him A.I. his pure Suffolks. The flock is one of the oldest flocks in the world. Now they have texels and BFL. When we got there we got the first ewes and gimmers in to the A.I. pens and I was put in charge of getting the ewes and gimmers ready to get tipped on to trolleys and then A.I.'d Before we could get started we had to get the sperm of the tup. (The tup is called Deveronside Palmal) Then we fetched the ewes and gimmers to AI. We got the next tup out and collected the sperm.(this tup was called Forkins Figoro) After we had got the sperm we had to AI more ewes and gimmers. After lunch we went down to the pens to shed the ewes and the gimmers in to two different groups for two different tups. We brought them up to the AI pens and got the tup lamb out and it took about 30 mins to get the sperm out because it would not jump. (The tup was called Roseden Park Lane) We then put the ewes and gimmers in on to he trolleys and AI them. Then we did the last lot of ewes and gimmers. The last tup we used is dead but we had some sperm frozen before he died (The tup was from the Bentley flock). At the end we had 3 ewes that we had AI'd but might not be in lamb so we put the ram lamb on Roseden Park Lane) to make sure that they are in lamb.
On a Thursday it is mart day and we try and send something there every week.
I was up at 6:00 to go and helped my uncle to load and shed the ewes and lambs. When they were loaded we took the big livestock trailer. There was 92 lambs and 30 ewes on the trailer. Grandad and I went to Rock to do the cows and sheep. My uncle picked me up at Rock (the other lowland farm) and went to the mart. When we got to the Market we gave in the livestock form. We got these prices:
For lambs
31 Tex x 40kg £75.50
2 Tex 47kg £82.00
2 Tex 41kg £78.50
3 Tex 44kg £81.50
4 Tex 40kg £78.00
9 Tex x 43kg £73.50
12 Tex x 45kg £78.50
12 Suff x Mule 49kg £79.50
17 Suff x Mule 43kg £75.50

Ewes
1 Suff £126
5 Tex £123
5 Chev Mule £82
10 Mule £89
1 Chev Mule £96
2 Lleyn Tex £83
4 Suff x £100

When I eventually came home from The North,  I went straight to my sheep and fed them. My sister and my mum have been looking after them for me. The tup is going to the ewes on the 5th of September. I am using a Texel tup and I am putting a raddel on the tup to make sure he is doing his job. Next week I will be able to tell you how he is getting on.

Thank you
Jack

Weaned - taking the lambs of their mothers.
Mule - a type of sheep breed.
Wether lambs -male lambs that have been castrated.
AI - Artificial Insemination.
BFL - Blue Faced Leicester a type of sheep breed.
Raddel - to make sure the tup is working. It leaves a coloured mark on the ewes bum.

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