Archived Journal

Archived Journal – January 2013

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KiwiTech YouTube videos – electric fencing

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Council Contact Re Water Consent

HBRC Kelvin Ferguson 06-835-9200 or 833-8050


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Ewe Disposition – 26 August 2012

(* means new tag)

Front One-Acre Island
#604 #616 #106*
#613 #705 #915
#704 #906  
#717 #917  
#904* #923  
#911* #928  
#919 #946  
#922 #003  
#933 #007*  
#934 #019  
#009 #040  
#043 #101*  
#699* #108*  
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Karola’s 37 Lambs Off To Progressive Meats

Sheep truck coming at 8:00am they said in a phone call last night. I planned on getting the lambs into the temporary yards at 7:45 – before the noise of the truck added to their skittishness and not so long before that they churned up the yards into a big mud bath. But the truck (and a portable race towed by a ute) arrived 15 minutes early. Not to worry, the lambs went into the yards quite easily – the truck driver helped – and on up into the truck wasn’t too much of a hassle either.

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Dynastic Sheep Decisions

I drafted out the ewe lamb keepers and stared at them long and hard as a group, comparing them with the ones left behind. They are on the whole a fairly even range and, apart from #101 and #130 who look distinctly Romney, have clean faces and legs. I accidentally let one of the ‘no-tag’ lambs through after deciding not to keep any of them. However she’s a fine looking lamb and both Karola and Carl rated her highly so I’ve kept her and will start a new dynasty. Her founding number will be #160E. I made another mistake and didn’t end up with 13 keepers, only 12. I’d let them out by then and was so panicked that I’d be bound to have mis-drafted the one lamb Karola had her heart set on keeping that I brought them back into the yards again and checked carefully. No, it was #119E that got mistakenly put with the wethers and neither Karola nor Carl rated that particular lamb highly so it doesn’t matter. Whew.

I put the keepers with the rest of the ewes, the “sacrificials” with the wethers in the Goose paddock. The ewes have done well in grazing their current grass cell in the Orchard paddock so I moved them to the next cell. First though I gave them some apples cut into quarters from the bottom tray in the fridge – they were beginning to go off. And I gave them a few slices of Henere’s lunchtime white bread – also starting to go off.

Called orchardist Alan Ladbrook and told him the orchard was sheep free now till next winter. He said it was almost time for him to start spraying again so it was welcome news.

I now have a list of the sheep ear tags needed for this year, in addition to about 40 button tags for the newborn lambs to be (#201-#240). There’s the ram, #106, and Kaz’ old ewe #699. There are lost tags to be replaced for: #007, #106, $904 and #911.

The chosen ewe lambs need tags: #101, #108, #111, #113, #116, #121, #128, #130, #133, #150, #152, and the no-tag ewe lamb who is to become #160.

The trip to the works is already booked – see earlier post today for details.

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37 Lambs To The Works

Deb (Debbie McCurrach ) at Progressive Meats (06 8739204) put me through to the scheduler, Emma (Emma Rough ). Emma schedules the following week on a Thursday so this Thursday she’ll send me and the transporter e-mail saying the time and date.

Emma already has chosen Monday for us so it is only a matter of the time. I took Emma’s recommendation (and Carl’s as it happens) to use Stephenson Transport Ltd (20 Irongate Rd, 06-878-5171, contact Kent). They have a small truck and will bring a race. Once they receive Emma’s e-mail they’ll contact me to let me know the pickup time on Monday.

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Karola Ewe Lamb Grading

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2011 Ewe Lamb Grading – Final – 7 Aug 12

Num KFB Top8 Mid8 Bot8 Mum Comments
101 Y Y 726 KEEP
106 ? ? ? ? 672 no tag Texel
107 Y 672 Texel
108 Y Y 714 KEEP
111 Y 705 KEEP (219 line)
113 Y Y 928 KEEP
114 Y 679 Texel
116 Y Y 674 KEEP (Texel line)
119 Y 719 (218 line)
121 Y Y 401 KEEP
123 ? ? ? ? 919 no tag
127 ? ? ? ? 219 no tag
128 Y Y 219 KEEP
130 Y Y 629 KEEP
133 Y Y 604 604’s so KEEP
136 Y 613
141 Y 725
144 Y 671 Texel
145 Y 671 Texel
146 ? ? ? ? 632 no tag
149 Y 917 Texel
150 Y 403 KEEP
152 Y Y 704 KEEP (219 line)
155 Y 911 Texel
??1 Y Y -> 672/919/219/632
??2 Y Y -> 672/919/219/632
??3 Y Y ? KEEP as #160E
??4 Y Y -> 672/919/219/632


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Long Day Of Sheep Stuff


The sheep are out of the orchard today. No more gates to close, no more endless manure.

By 9:00am I had the ewes in the yards ready for Bruce’s man Carl and was ready to help Bruce’s dad, Ian Richardson and dog Spy, get the lambs from the orchard into the Island paddock.

My plan was to have the ewes crutched and given their 5-in-1 vaccine first and bundle them back to their grass cell in the Orchard paddock, out of the way. Then to draft the lambs by sex. Crutch the ewe lambs and put them back in the Island paddock for later grading, then crutch the wether lambs.

So: ewes into yards, tick.

At 9:30am the team arrived, without the shearing truck. Ian Richardson and Spy played footsie with the lambs for a while but eventually we got them all into the Island paddock and from there into the yards, in a pen behind the ewes of course. Then Ian and Carl go off.

At 11:00am I get a call from Bruce. Carl is delayed because Ian dropped him off to collect the truck and then Carl found it had a flat battery. Carl’s personal cell phone had run out of prepay money and his work cell phone he’d accidentally left in Ian’s ‘ute’. Wherever he was, Carl couldn’t ring to say what was happening, nor could he come because the truck was stuck. So, Carl arrives in the truck around 11:30am.

So of course the truck starts skidding and gets stuck the minute it tries to cross the paddock by the cottage and go out to the yards. So we end up towing it backwards with the Fergie and chain.

Now for the setting up. The back of the truck folds down and rests on two metal pipes, forming a pen. The metal pipes carried on into the ground about a foot and were still sinking when we realised and hastily pulled them up again. A wooden plank under each leg solved that.

So where’s the 5-in-1 vaccine that is usually held in the truck – must be empty. Another half hour of searching and negotiation and I am dispatched off towards Stortford Lodge to Elders to buy vaccine and put it on Bruce’s account.

Given all this Carl was actually quite calm and the rest of the crutching went smoothly. Carl yelled out whether each ewe would be early, middling, or late to lamb, based on the condition of the udder. All the ewes were sent back to the Orchard paddock, the separation of ewe and wether lambs was quick and the ewe lambs were soon crutched and back in the Island paddock. The wether lambs were crutched and left, temporarily, in the Middle paddock.

Next Carl graded the ewe lambs, based on size, conformation, wool. He raddled the top third with green, the bottom third with blue. Then, around 3:00pm he packed up and left.

To minimise the wolfing down of good grass by the lambs I planned to keep the ewe lambs in the Island – already well chewed out by the big ewes – and the wethers in the Goose paddock. First I had to move the current occupants out. I put the geese in the Middle paddock and shepherded the ram and Kaz’ old ewe with twins into the cottage garden and out the little gate int the Totara paddock and on into the Front paddock, thereby avoiding the wethers in the Middle paddock. After that the wethers went quite docilely into the Goose paddock and that was it for the night – outside at least.

Quite exhausted and the whole thing having taken hours longer than expected, I spent the evening working out which of the ewe lambs should go, which should stay.

The other incident involved Bramble who, to stop her being a nuisance, I chained up on the front seat of the Landrover where she could watch but not interfere. At some point during the crutching she stopped her usual excited ‘let me play too’ barking for a yelp of surprise. Carl noticed and so we went to investigate. Bramble had fallen head down off the seat and was suspended by the chain (it’s only a little chain) wrapped round BOTH heels. We released her amid yelps of fear and pain whence she immediately changed to barks of indignation and ran off as if nothing had happened. Nothing broken or damaged there then.

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Ewes In Lamb

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2012 – Ewes In-Lamb (Carl) 6 Aug 12

Ewe Timing 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
604 early ER RR RR R R
613 early ER RR R R
616 middle ER ER ER ER
704 early ER EE R R
705 middle ER ER RR
717 early R EE EE R
904 early R
906 middle R
911 early ER
915 dry?
917 middle E
919 early E R
922 early RR
923 latest R
928 middle E
933 early R
934 early R
946 middle R
003 middle
007 latest
009 early
019 latest
040 middle
043 early

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