Friday, April 29, 2011

Fat and Ready to Go

The wethers (boy sheep) that we drafted up a couple of weeks ago look really good. Dad thinks they are ready to sell. They have to weigh the right number and look the right shape.

We weigh them in a little box, it looks like fun to me. They get to ride up in a kind of moving slippery dip.

Sometimes I get weighed too, last time I weighed 17 kilograms. That's a lot!
 BUT now I am getting too tall to fit in.

A man comes to check that the wethers are the right shape, they need to be nice and round. The man is a stock and station agent, he spends all day every day looking at sheep and cattle at lots of different places. 

He feels them to make sure they are right

and then drafts the best ones ready to go.

The wethers are going to the butchers, they are worth a lot of money. I wonder whether they will make as much money as 'Quincey' did.

The butcher paid us $5.70 for every kilogram of meat. There was 23 kilograms of meat on every wether.
WOOHOO....that is a lot of money!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Midwife to the Rescue

The ewes have been lambing for just over a week, and there are baby lambs "baaing" everywhere. We have 2 different types of lambs being born, some are for wool and some are for meat.  

The lambs we breed for meat are sometimes too big to be born or two lambs try to come at once and sometimes they are just all muddled up inside. If the ewe is too long trying to get her babies out they die and sometimes she will die too. That is sad. So we check them and help if we can.

I have been helping Mum check the ewes. Today we helped 4 ewes, we delivered 6 lambs alive and sadly, 2 dead. After the lambs are born the ewes need to clean them up, she licks them all over, and very quickly the babies come to life. 

 Mum and I are the sheep emergency team. Good teamwork!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

KT has a little Lamb

This morning when we checked the ewes having 2 lambs, we found a lamb all alone. I really wanted to bring him home with me straight away. BUT Mum said wait....
'We will leave him alone for the day, his mum might come back looking for him. If he is still there at the end of the day we will take him home and feed him.'
Luckily for me, he was still there all alone and very cold. Dad says the ewes are not very good at counting, some of them can't count past 1. They count one lamb and off they go and leave number 2 behind!  Silly sheep, I can count more than that.

He is a boy lamb and I have named him Skippety.

He loves me, nearly as much as he loves milk. He cries alot, I think he misses his  Mum.

Newborn lambs get very special milk from their mums called colostrum, it helps the lambs fight any bad diseases and makes them super strong. PopPop says it works like magic! Mum has a special recipe to make Skippety's milk, so it works that special kind of magic. Skippety will need to have this milk for a few days before he can have milk just like me.

Mum says all Skippety needs is plenty of milk, sleep and to stay warm. The lambs in the paddocks have their Mums to keep them warm, they can snuggle up. We have made  Skippety a special bed with straw and a hot water bottle!
Goodnight you

Monday, April 18, 2011

Babies and Burrs

They're early......the first lambs arrived on Friday,

and on Saturday there were more!

There will be plenty more. Thousands in fact!

It would be really good if the weather stayed nice, we don't want our baby lambs to die. The ewes need to make lots of milk, and look for good warm places to sleep at night. AND most important protect their babies from the 'baddies' out there....foxes, crows and eagles.

We will keep a close eye on the ewes while they are lambing. Sometimes they have a few problems, the lambs can get too big and get stuck then we will help. And you never know one baby lamb might just want to come home with me!

Whenever we are out in the paddock we look for lots of things, sometimes animals get sick, sometimes trees fall on fences and sometimes we find bad weeds. Today we found a Bathurst Burr, we dug it out, we don't like them. They are very spikey and there seeds get stuck in the sheep's wool, the people that buy our wool would not like that!

Mum and Dad call me 'hawk eyes'  because I can see everything.

Bathurst Burr.....OUCH!
My new chickens are growing up really fast, they are really funny. When I feed them in the morning they are so happy to see me especially Snow White. I spend lots of time in the chicken yard, they are fun to play with. I think they love me lots and lots.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pumpkins Galore!

The pumpkins are ready to pick and there are lots. One little plant has made alot of pumpkins. I counted 22. Mum says they will be great for soup in the winter time.

The watermelons are all finished, we still have 2 to eat. Maybe I will take one to preschool this week, my friends love watermelon!

Time to get our vegie patches ready for winter vegetables. We will need some sheep poo, to make the soil healthy. There are lots of worms in the vegie patch they will help.
NOW what to plant?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl

Counting the sleeps, eight to go until the baby lambs arrive. Mum said to keep an eye out there could be some early ones born. The mother sheep are enormous, and they are starting to get milk. All the paddocks have nice grass for the mothers, so we hope they stay healthy.

Clover.....can you spy any with 4 leaves!

This is clover...the sheep love it, it is a lovely soft feed and makes sheep very fat.
It has 3 leaves and sometimes if you look really hard you might find one with 4....Mum says that's lucky.
 But I can't find any!

We have mainly girl sheep (ewes) on our farm, we breed sheep. Some farms only have boy sheep (wethers). Today we sorted the ewes from the wethers. The ewes will stay on our farm and have babies, the wethers will be sold, either to another farmer or to the butcher. They all have ear tags in their ears, wethers in the right ear and ewes in the left ear, so it makes it easier to sort them out.

My job is to shoo the sheep up the race. Dad says I am a really good helper, I save him lots of work. I can make the sheep run really fast.
BUT sometimes Mum calls out..............."slow them down!"
The wethers go one way and the ewes go another, we will maybe put wethers on the oats that Dad sowed.

the boys!
Dad says to be a farmer you have to be able to count. Dad counts the sheep out of the yards, they run really fast, so you need to be quick. I can count up to 40 but they run too fast for me!

22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40
A special surprise for me Bella's baby was in the mob, 'Sparkles',
 I even got a cuddle!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hey there Cowgirl!

So the steers are all sold, the cows have babies growing in their tummies, and PopPop needs some new bulls. We went to a bull farm today to look for some new bulls. There were lots to choose from. The man gave us a book with lots of numbers in it, the numbers help you decide which bull will be the best for PopPop's cows.

 I like all the bulls, I think they will make great Dads.

I like that one Dad!

PopPop bought one bull, we did not take him home today, he wouldn't fit in the car. The man will bring him to our farm another day.

We stopped at the saleyards on the way home. There were alot of cattle there, making lots of noise. It was a bit smelly.

Cattle were mooing and people were yelling. There were people calling out numbers all the time, lots of people wanted to buy the cattle. I think everybody has lots of grass on their farms and they need some more animals to eat it.

It is a nice saleyard, all the cattle are out of the sun, there is no mud or dust and there are walkways up really high so you can see everything!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weigh In

It is weighing time, the steers (boy ones) are getting very big. They have been eating lots of good grass. So much grass they are putting 1 kilogram on everyday. PopPop has mustered them up this morning.

They have to walk up on to some very big scales, much bigger than the ones in the kitchen.

that is a big one!

We have to put a special ear tag in their ear, so the people that buy them know what farm they came from. My job is to get the ear tags ready, I think they look a bit like giant ear rings, but not really very pretty.

They are very big animals, we have to hold their heads still to put the ear tag in.  They stand on the scales and their head is held still in a special crush. We can do lots of things to them then, because they cannot move.
Dad will load them on the truck tonight and take them to the saleyards, and tomorrow they will be sold. 
I am a little bit sad about that because my pet 'Quincey' has grown up so big, he is now ready to sell, Dad will give him a big cuddle for me. Hopefully he will make lots of money!

WOW.....I am RICH.....'Quincey' made $2.31 per kilogram and weighed 524 kilograms. PopPop is very happy, his steers were the best at the saleyards, and made top dollars. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Coming of the Chickens

Dad is still busy sowing more seeds, he has been working long hours to get it finished. The wet weather last week meant he did not get any done. We pack his lunch in the esky everyday. He does not get home until I am fast asleep!

Mum works for other farmers sometimes, she sorts the good sheep from the bad ones. Sometimes I get to go with her.

On Thursday we went on a big trip, and I was so lucky I got to see my cousins, they live 3 hours away. I stayed on their farm while my Mum did her work. Look what I found in their watering can!

isn't he beautiful!

BUT I think the best bit of all was the new chickens....I have had 3 chooks for a while but yesterday I got another 3 chickens from another farm.... and that makes 6! These ones are only babies, they will not lay eggs for a while. I have named them, Snow White, Frosty and Pinky. 

Frosty, Snow White, and Pinky

They cheep, cheep all the time, I have them in a cage in the garden, and have been feeding them all day, they love slugs. That's good.....they might save some of my strawberries!

I need to make sure they are tucked in snug tonight, the older chooks will keep them safe!

I do not want any foxes coming for dinner!!!
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