Saturday, March 19, 2011

It was the Best of Times; It was the Worst of Times

With the 2011 lambing season behind us, it is time for review. I do this at the end of every season, sometimes with formal notes, most often just in my head. This year was a year of superlatives.

It was the BEST breeding percentage – 100%

Great lambing percentage –184% although when you figure in the losses, it drops to 147% (still acceptable, just not great)

Most number of lambs-35

MOST number of lamb losses-7

Most number of live RAM lambs-21

Best looking ewe lambs!

Most number of ewe losses- 1 trampled and died, one in questionable health, three others to be culled

Biggest lamb at 60 days- 75 pounds!

1st newborn broken leg

1st smothered lamb

Most triplets- 2 sets!

1st triplets raised with absolutely no human intervention

Amazing recovery by lamb with broken leg

Biggest lamb ever delivered naturally – 16.5#! (don’t think this one will make it)

Most assisted births in a season

Possibly the most number of nocturnal barn trips

Hardest delivery

“Grossest” death

If you choose to look only at the bad, you would have to wonder WHY on earth we continue. Honestly, we DO ask that sometimes!

If you choose to look only at the good….then, we are doing incredibly well. Those big boys down there are amazing.

So, it becomes a matter of perspective, of balance…

We are raising lamb chops here (and roasts and shanks and sausage, etc) and that crop is looking great! The losses, while tragic and frustrating, go with the territory. You learn what you can, make adjustments to avoid the problems in the future and go on.

There’s an old saying…..”There’s always NEXT year…!”

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