There was a bumper crop of lambs last year and most of them are still here. The problem with breeding for June lambing, when the weather is warm and the grass is green, is that the babies only have a few months to grow when the market is ready for them. So, they have been staying an extra season on the farm, which puts enough weight on them to be marketable. Only, last year, the majority were female lambs, so in order to increase profits, they were introduced to a small Babydoll ram in December, at five to six months of age. Some would have been ready to breed, while others may have taken another month or two, but the little ram and the Blue Faced Leicester ram are both still there with the ewe lambs. It is time to take them out now, because the last of the ewe lambs not bred would deliver in October and that is getting pretty cold. I did not think that whole project through too well, though, because the newborn lambs will need their mothers for a few months, then the market is not ready for lambs again and so on. A sheep can be considered a lamb until the age of two and most of these are small breeds to begin with. But, next winter, that will mean a lot of little sheep. Plan B is to try to sell the mothers with the lambs at their sides when the lambs are four months old or by then, the lambs can be weaned and sold separately. If need be, some may have to go the auction, but I am trying to find avenues for grass fed lamb, which is much healthier than grain fed lamb. People who suffer from gluten related illness often do so much better with grass fed meat, too.
Fluffy writes daily about the experiences on the farm and with the bed and breakfast patrons.