Friday, 16 February 2007

Counting sheep and lambs ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!

I thought I would just explain how the number of ewes, and hence lambs, has increased over the years.

In 1995 we had 8 ewes they had 9 live lambs and lambing was spread over 3 weeks.
In 1996 we kept all the ewe lambs [agnelles] so we had 12 ewes and they had 19 live lambs.
In 1997 we had 11 ewes [one had gone for reform i.e. slaughter] and they had 19 live lambs.
In 1998 we had 24 ewes of which 18 lambed and they had 31 live lambs.
In 1999 we had 32 ewes they all lambed and they had 49 live lambs.
In 2000 we had 55 ewes of which 53 lambed and they had 86 live lambs.
In 2001 we had 85 ewes of which 62 lambed and they had 108 live lambs.
In 2002 we had 100 ewes of which 74 lambed and they had 114 live lambs.
In 2003 we had 100 ewes of which 85 lambed and they had 133 live lambs.
In 2004 we had 87 ewes of which 65 lambed and they had 106 live lambs.
In 2005 we had 73 ewes of which 52 lambed and they had 98 live lambs.

After the first year our lambing percentages have been between 1.6 and 1.7, that is live lambs per ewe which is good, and it remained high even as ewe numbers increased because we worked harder spending long hours to ensure the lambs had the best possible chance of survival. I will do much more about lambing in later posts, this is just to give an idea of how we evolved over the years.

Our first lambing was spread over 3 weeks, by the time we got to 2003 with 85 ewes lambing it was over 10 weeks. This may not sound excessive but the ewes were checked regularly every few hours throughout the day and night. The OH would get up at 3 a.m. and if a ewe was lambing then I would get up to deal with the ewe and lambs. This meant that we had very little sleep for weeks on end, and would be working very long days aswell. I will describe a typical day during lambing in another post.

In 2005 we decided that with lambing figures of 1.9 live lambs per ewe we should quit while we were on top. We still have the ewes but we have not lambed since then.


liz fenwick said...

Wow. You amaze me. Were you from an agricultural background???? I just couldn't imagine doing such a switch if I didn't have some sense of what I was in for.

Caroline said...

Bloody hell!
I am lost within the numbers!