Friday, 21 March 2008

It's started

...and it's triplets! Not entirely something to celebrate really - a ewe only has two teats after all, and triplets rarely do as well as doubles.
Not the best photo, but at less than 12 hours old they are uncooperatively fixated on breathing, eating and investigating rather than posing. Oh, and they are ALL boys. This is one of the prettiest ewes in the flock, nicely marked and with delicate features.

18 comments:

Rob Hopcott said...

They appear very well looked after ... And rather tasty :-)

What are male lambs used for? Am I right in saying they are sent to slaughter early in their lives whereas the females are kept for breeding?

Mopsa said...

Rob - I tend not to send any lambs off for slaughter until they are 6 months or more, and both rams and ewes go unless I want to keep some back for breeding (which means time for a new ram to avoid interbreeding), or have people who want to buy breeding stock. I also keep some back for hogget - 12-24 months old - fabulous flavour. The ram lambs tend to get bigger quicker, though, so they do normally go for meat first...

Notaproperfarmer said...

Congrats on the new lambs - good luck on the next few weeks of sleeplessness. We've just finished lambing and didn't get any surviving triplets this time around - could have done with some ram multiples (Grrr! - jealousy creeping in). Unfortunately our only triplets had two stillborns due to a ruptured amniotic sac.
What breed are they? Torddu Welsh Badger Faced? They are very smart looking.

Mopsa said...

Welcome, notaproperfarmer! (good name). Yes, they are Torddu - we have Torwens too. Why did you want ram multiples in particular - do you keep all the ewe lambs for breeding stock? Have to say that I'd much rather just have doubles!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Fabulous picture. You must be knackered to put it politely! I haven't been out to see the lambs around the village this year so your picture was just brilliant. The barn work s coming along good too. You must pack a hell of a lot into a day.

paula said...

They look so smart and such a good size too.
Like you I'm not keen on triplets, though I generally manage to foster one onto a single (especially if they come at the start of lambing) which has always worked well.
Take care of yourself, thinking of you...

notaproperfarmer said...

Yep, you're right - in the end twins are better than triplets (I was just being greedy). The plan will be - good ram lambs will go off to show and eventually the ram sales, other ram lambs for the pot, good ewe lambs as replacements, other ewe lambs for the pot. Good point about sending the rams to slaughter earlier and keeping ewes for hoggets - makes perfect sense.

colouritgreen said...

they do look good - we are at the checking and waiting stage with our ewes now...

Mopsa said...

MOB, folks often say that I must be running about non-stop...but there are some days when I just stare into space!

Paula - if only there was a ewe with a single to mother on to! Second to lamb, a first-timer, has just had a set of gorgeous triplets too - I've NEVER had that happen before.

Colouritgreen - welcome to you too - this post seems to have attracted some new readers - how lovely.

Eurodog said...

Lovely picture. Newborn and already up and about! I always find that amazing.
Have a nice week end.

Flowerpot said...

very pretty mum and gorgeous pretty babies. Clever girl!

rilly super said...

the lambs in the next field to us have little blue coats on mopsa. I don't know if this is because of the cold weather or if they are genetically engineered to be born ready wrapped in tin foil but they are rather fetching nevertheless

mountainear said...

Congratulations on the new arrivals.

Our local farmers have lambs coming out of their ears (so to speak) and are being very cautious about putting them out too soon as the forecast is a bit dodgy. Their workload is exhausting. I expect you know that!

Hope all goes well for you.

KAZ said...

The one at the front is the spitting image of its mum.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ahhhh, sweet! now i know you're running a business an' all, but do you HAVE to send them to be killed??!!! thanks for the 'skinning dead lamb' confirmation at Wife in the North's blog; what a revolting practice!!!!
Pigx

paula said...

another set of triplets????
What happened in the rain your side of the valley - I've had the most singles ever this year, and males - 85% in the lambs and 98% in the calves.
Weird...

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah, she had eyebrows!

Pig, they do that with dead foals as wel to get a mare to accept an orphan who has lost its mum.

It may be revolting but the animal is already dead and if it saves the life of the orphan, all to the good!

Mopsa said...

Eurodog - was there a weekend? Can't say I've noticed!

Fpot - they are now outside, enjoying the fresh grass - a sight for tired lambing eyes!

Rilly, the triplets are a bit small so those little coats would probably trip them up! But they are a hardy breed.

M'ear - I find it really heartwarming that folks all over the country are doing this simultaneously - so much more interesting and productive than couch potatoing in front of reality tv.

Kaz - they DO tend to look like their mums - I have grandmums, their daughters and daughters' daughters, all looking very much the same.

PIG - you KNOW I'm not a vegetarian! For me, it's all about knowing where my food comes from, how it is reared, treated, fed etc. These are (much respected) livestock, not pets. Luckily, I can be DIY for most foodstuffs. And I won't even start on £1.99 chickens.... As for the skinning thing - it's making use of the dead for the good of the living - the animal equivalent of transplants, and is just brilliant when effective.

Paula - it's madness! Finally, a lovely double arrived at 1am this morning!

M&M - that's why they are called badger faced sheep - those fab black eyebrow slashes gives them that badgerlike appearance.