Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

New beginnings

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Well, we’ve neglected this site and the blog and everything to do with the sheep (but obviously not the sheep themselves). We’ve been busy with work, with running, with life and some nights (well most nights) we’ve fallen into bed and just having enjoyed seeing the sheep was enough, writing about it all would have been a step too far. As far as blogging goes I have also been rather focused on the running blog – writing there somehow came easier. However, I miss the thinking time and the headspace I associated with the sheep blog and updating and maintaining this blog and the pages that go with it is also a great way of keeping track of what is going on. So here’s to new beginnings on the blog.

Here’s also to new beginnings as the cycle of sheep life begins again today – we moved Brough our ram to the ewes this afternoon. And new beginnings because on Friday we sold one of our ram lambs to a new home – a posh new home at that! But let’s start with a sensible update. We shared the lambing highs and lows and after that things were rather uneventful. We were late with shearing but once we got organised it all went very well.

We are still struggling a little with the lack of land which makes resting areas and rotation a bit difficult but we are just about managing. A couple of weeks ago we moved all our ewes, including lambs to the field closest to us. This was a stupid move on our part because we knew we wanted to put the ram in about now and would have to move the ewe lambs we didn’t want tupping as well as our bottle fed Edith back again. We should have just left them there. We managed to bring half of our ewes into out little shed on Sunday and moved 4 of the ewe lambs and Edith. We couldn’t get near yesterday but today managed to get the rest and move the other 2. It’s not a huge amount of fun walking them the 200 metres or so from field to field individually but it’s the only way we can manage without a dog. The ewes are looking good. We have 7 going to the ram this year.

All ewes including lambs - synchronised piddles

All ewes including lambs – synchronised piddles

Friday was a big day for us. We sold a ram lamb. We’ve been saying how lovely he is and we hoped we’d be able to sell him for breeding rather than meat and we got lucky. We’d just put the advert back up on preloved and got a message asking if our tups were still for sale. The buyers came to have a look and took him and what I think we’d all say was a fair price. We are very excited that he has gone to Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley – check out his new home!

Number 20 born March 2015 sold October 2015

Number 20, born March 2015, sold October 2015

Brough was meant to go in with the ewes last week but when we gave him his full check over we realised he had a slight infection. A quick chat with the vet confirmed what we thought – a good dose of antibiotics and wait a few days. As it happens it didn’t matter as we couldn’t catch the ewe lambs until today anyway and we are only 1 day later than last year and lambing was about right this spring. Anyway, today was the day. To give us a little bit more of an idea of lambing times and order we decided that we would try some raddle this time. We didn’t like the idea of a harness – too much potential for injury or rubbing so we went for the pigment poweder mixed into a paste with oil that you smear straight on. Brough got his attractive new war paint on and then we walked him the 100 metres ish from his field to the ewes’ field. He is good as gold with people and we can easily walk him if we take a horn each.

He spotted the ewes and trotted off to see them. They were less than impressed as you can see from the little video clip at the end of this post. We left them too it. Hopefully they will have settled relatively quickly. So just for when I have a little panic – our sheep are now split as follows: First field: Brought and 7 ewes. Second field: 3 ram lambs. Third field: Edith and 6 ewe lambs.

Author: Jess Guth

Dr Jess Guth is a Senior Lecturer in Law. She blogs at jessguth.com She also doesn't really run - reallynotarunner.com

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