Author Topic: Lamb are getting big  (Read 3911 times)

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2017, 08:05:19 AM »
It varies with the breed of sheep but for the market around here, 70-90 pounds is in demand. We personally like them at 100-120 pounds.  Once they get above that point they start putting on more fat and you don't get a higher percentage of meat.  The hair sheep dress out a little above 50% of their hanging weight.  We have seen people that insist on getting a 3-4 month old lamb thinking that they will be getting this super tender meat and we avoid selling to those types since they won't be happy with the small amount of meat they will be getting.  By the time they pay a premium price for the lamb and then pay for processing, they are getting close to super market retail.  By the time they are getting close to their finished wait they are eating grass only so it doesn't take much more input from us to get them there.

Thought some might like this cutie.  This is the ram lamb that was born the 18th and we had to bottle feed the first morning.  You can't tell from the picture but he is catching up on weight to where he ought to be.



Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2017, 10:44:49 AM »
He sure has got some big ears.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2017, 08:48:08 PM »
This is the same lamb.  I'm not sure why they do this but some raise their upper lip and look like a pig imitation.

Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2017, 06:55:57 PM »
On average the lambs are putting on a pound a day.  We rigged up a creep feeder for them so they get all the grain that they care to eat.  We decided not to band the ram lambs since our vet only charges $10 a head to castrate them.

They are all using the feeder except for the last ewe born as she can't get up the nerve to enter.

Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
L3200 Kubota with loader and box blade. Husqvarna rear tine tiller
19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2017, 09:31:27 AM »
Lambing season seems like a distant memory but the first lambs almost seem like adults.  This picture shows the ram lamb born on 21 December.  He is 41 pounds as of 2 days ago and is the most pet like of all of the lambs.  He may change as he grows older but as of now he he has earned a permanent place here and will be wethered and stay on the farm as companion for the ram we are getting next month.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2017, 05:13:48 PM »
Great picture!
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Offline bordercollie

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2017, 08:04:07 PM »
Those are great pictures Mike M.    :) We have  had good luck banding our steer calves when very young. If less than 24 hours old, they don't even know it and it is so easy.   

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2017, 08:23:35 PM »
We are about to move most of the sheep to the big pasture and they are getting big.  We have had to do some remedial training with our Great Pyrenees guard dog.  She had been through a lambing season before but she was young and didn't have an adult guard to help train her.  She wanted to play lamb football with the younger lambs so we had to go back a ways and teach her what her job really is.  She has been really good the last couple of weeks and even some of the lambs have started sleeping with her in her little hoop shelter.

This picture is some slow feeding some fresh cut grass with Maisy sitting patiently watching her flock.

Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2017, 07:12:13 AM »
They are still cute!

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Online Double B

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2017, 08:04:25 AM »
Maisy looks very interested in her flock and it is good to see her getting used to the lambs. I am amazed at how fast the lambs are growing and it obviously won't take long to get them to market weight. I think you may have found your calling. Animal husbandry is somewhat of a gift and it is clear that you have it. Thanks again for the pictures as we sure like seeing their progress.

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Offline bordercollie

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2017, 08:47:40 AM »
 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) Awesome Mike !

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2017, 08:09:01 PM »
They grow soooo fast. 

I looked at the pics after I posted and you can't really tell where the dog is.  In the first picture she is at the top of the picture just in front of Teresa.

Here is a couple of picks of our guard dog checking out the lambs butts and the lambs checking her out.  I guess that is how they memorize who is who.  We think we are getting to the point we can try Maisy unsupervised for short times to make sure.  Maisy (the guard dog) got butted badly a couple of times by our flock queen.  She bot butted twice when she came prancing up to me like she was going to jump up on me and paid the price.  Maisy got feisty with the same ewes lamb and got knocked about 3'.  You hate to see them get banged up but the ewes are good mothers and aren't nearly as submissive as many people think.

The last one was a "just because" they are still cute.  All of the lambs laying together are the youngest. The oldest are pretty much hanging out with the adults (even though there is only one month between the youngest and the oldest).





« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 08:11:14 PM by MikeM »
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Offline Ben

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2017, 05:03:21 PM »
Mike raising sheep is very interesting.   When I was in school I was in 4-H and FFA showing beef cattle.   My neighbor and best friend showed sheep.  I can remember going with him to buy a couple show lambs.  I believe they were Hampshires with the black head, face, and ears.  We went to the shepherds place, he must have had a hundred or more.  I was very impressed and enjoyed watching his bordercollie work the flock.  If the flock was gathered it would lay down facing the flock and when one would bolt from the flock the collie would quickly round it up and guide it back to the flock group and wait for another to leave the flock.  He would whistle to get the dogs attention and then give the dog a command with his hands and arms, very few verbal commands.  He had to have spent many hours training the dog.   It was like watching a well trained duck retriever dog and master work finding downed ducks.  It was worth the trip just to see the dog work.

My friend and I were both poor folks but some how he got his hands on a gas operated set of sheep shears.   It was PTO operated with a few wiggle joints for twisting the head part containing the shears.  The gas operated shears were more powerful and faster than electric shears and could be operated anywhere, you did not have to have electricity to operate.   He became quite talented with it and started hiring out his services shearing sheep for others in the parish and in surrounding parishes.  Seems like he got 4 or 5 dollars a head for shearing.  That was good money back in the '50s.  I would go with him on occasions to help him.  Once you get the sheep on the tarp and on his rear end on it,  it did not take him long to remove the wool from it.  Joe didn't weigh 100 pounds soaking wet but was all muscle and when he locked his knees around the sheep and his other arm around the sheep's neck very few got away from him.

He was talented in shearing sheep for show and would hire out to other 4-H members showing sheep.  The show sheep were sheared in a block outline then carded and trimmed with hand shears (clippers or scissors).

Really enjoy your thread and keep up the good work.  Keep us updated.

Ben
Northwest La. zone 8b

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2017, 08:26:51 AM »
Thanks Ben.  They are fun critters to raise and we actually got our first group to finish training our herding dogs.  It can take years to get a dog really polished.  Ours are working now but they are a long way from being able to call trained. They and us are still in novice class but they are fun to watch.  Sheep are easy to work without a dog as all it takes is a bucket of grain and they will follow you anywhere.  They won't look like lambs much longer so I'll post a picture before they totally lose that look.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
L3200 Kubota with loader and box blade. Husqvarna rear tine tiller
19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2017, 10:31:26 AM »
I'm posting pictures of the 1st born and the last born that we thought was dead upon birth.  The 1st and the last were right at 11.5 pounds and are both on the lower left in the pictures.  It's hard to be the last (#12) is only 5 weeks old.  She is the first into the creep feeder and the last out.

The 3rd picture is one of the wethers we are keeping.  We are going to wind up keeping 3 of the ram lambs and only selling two.  Two will be kept on site and the 3rd goes to the freezer in July or so.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2017, 10:40:05 AM »
Do you or your wife spin and weave the wool?

Thank you for your updates .They sure do grow up fast.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2017, 10:56:19 AM »
We don't spin Maggie.  These goes don't have wool but rather a thick hair coat that they will shed in the spring.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2017, 03:08:52 PM »
Shows you how much I know I thought all sheep had wool.
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Offline MikeM

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2017, 03:27:09 PM »
More people don't know than do know about hair sheep.  They are bred specifically for meat.  Our lambs will be at 60 lbs in 60 days even though most won't be going to market.
Shepherds Hill Farm - Zone 7a
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19 acres in southern Middle TN

Offline Maggie13

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Re: Lambing is going on
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2017, 03:33:27 PM »
WOWZA! That is fast weight gain.
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Knox, New York   zone 4B