This is where we spent most of our Sunday and it’s ‘that’ time of the year again.
I guess there is a few ‘that’ times of the year on a farm, but this particular ‘that’, is lamb marking.
This year, we have about 10,000 lambs to mark. No small number and it will take weeks, so we have to stay on top of it, which will mean heading the sheep yards whenever the lambs are ready.
Of course in-between times, there’s things like a crop to get in, some crutching to do and weighing up old seasons (and some new seasons) lambs… So basically, it’s a really busy time from now up until harvest has finished.
Weasel LOVES lamb marking. For a male dog, he is surprisingly maternal and spends a lot of time nosing the marked lambs to get up and pushing them over to find their mums!
Wally and Wombat love lamb marking time too. Well actually, they just love sheep work, it doesn’t matter what type it is!
I will just add in here, that when we are marking crossy lambs (meat lambs), we don’t musle because often they will be turned into chops before we will have a fly problem with them.
This mob however, we did musle the ewe lambs because we’ll be keeping these as replacement ewes. We do this as humanly as possible and in line with all the rules.
The kids aren’t as keen on it as the dogs, but they get in and pull their weight. Hayden had a red hot go at tagging the lambs this year – we don’t usually let the kids work on the cradle, just because it slows us down and when you’ve got a full day in front of you, it’s easier to let them go off and play, explore and do what kids do.
As in any good work set up, there is a boss. I was pretending to be it, giving Hayden some instructions! Good to see he was listening so intently.
So what did you do with your Sunday?
*Thanks to my daughter Rochelle, who took these photos, as part of her ‘homework’ for photography!
Nice work Rochelle!!!! Have had so little experience with sheep… just remember mustering them as a kid visiting my cousins at Tambo and being mesmerised at how easily they move (and fail to move) as a mob. 🙂
And it all depends on their mood on the day…
In awe at the sheer numbers, but wondering about a detail. May I ask what the item is, on Weasel?
Hi Gretchen, it’a called a ‘muzzle’ and stops him from nipping at the sheep and damaging them.
Thanks! I’m more accustomed to seeing the sort the greyhounds wear, or the really snug kind the vet puts on when he’s getting ready for a procedure he knows a dog won’t like. The open nose and squared off sides just wouldn’t “gel” in my mind’s eye. I’m guessing there’s room for him to pant or bark as needed, just no nipping? Is it an every-work-day thing, and he gets excited when the muzzle comes out, or just when it’s lambs, or just for certain situations that he needs to wear it?