Spring grazing
Spring grazing

 Lamb frolic
Lambs running

Young ewe lambs
Young ewe lambs



    And life goes on

    Out to pasture

    Once the grass starts to grow in the spring, the lambs go outside where their mothers teach them how to graze. Wherever their mother goes, they will go.

    Life of a lamb
    During the day, the lambs spend their time eating, sleeping, and playing. Siblings tend to stick together. At the beginning, lambs don't venture too far from their dams. As they get older, they form play groups. They become more independent and active. They love to run and jump. Their favorite "game" is "king of the hill."

    When the lambs are 6 to 8 weeks old, they are vaccinated for clostridium perfringins type C & D (overeating disease) and clostridium tetani (tetanus). They receive a booster approximately four weeks later.

    The lambs are weaned (separated from their mothers) by the time they are 90 days old. They are weighed to see how fast they are growing. After weaning, the lambs stay in familiar surroundings, while the ewes are moved to a pen for special feeding to help dry up their udders. Between 3 and 4 months of age, the ram lambs are separated from the ewe lambs.

    After weaning
    After weaning the lambs continue to graze. They are fed supplemental grain while they are grazing. The ewe lambs and some of the best ram lambs are sold for breeding, while the rest of the males are sold for meat. Most of the lambs are sold by August 1st.

    Lambs are not routinely dewormed at the Baalands, as this is neither necessory nor recommended, as frequent and unnecessary deworming promotes the development of drug-resistant worms. Only lambs showing signs of barber pole worm infection (anemia) are given an anthelmintic. Katahdin sheep are more resistant to internal parasites than wooled breeds. The minerals include a coccidiostat to prevent coccidiosis.

    The Baalands retains a few of the best ewe lambs to add to the flock. The replacement ewe lambs are bred when they are about seven months old and have achieved approximately two-thirds of their mature size. At the time of breeding, they'll weight about 100 pounds. The ewe lambs will not be raised with the mature ewes until they wean their first set of lambs.

    After weaning
    After the ewes wean their lambs, they spend the next several months "recuperating" and getting fat eating grass. The only supplement they receive while grazing is a mineral mix. Ewes that did not raise lambs or have physical problems are removed from the flock. Breeding commences again in mid-October, when the "sheep year" starts all over again.

    Being George
    George doesn't do much. Mostly he eats and gets fat. During his younger years, his most important job was to keep the rams company when they were not with the ewes for breeding. George works on the sheep101 web site in his spare time.

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Last updated 21-Sep-2015
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