Our Flock

Weobley Ash – Our Flock

Weobley Ash – Mutton renaissance – BBC Countryfile

Weobley Ash as seen on BBC Countryfile

EPISODE 1327 – SHEEP THEME

Anita Rani travelled to Herefordshire to meet –

“… the city slickers who swapped corporate life for the country”  and now supply top quality mutton to high end restaurants in the area. Anita discovers ” it’s the way the David and Helen treat the meat that makes it so special.” (i.e. tasty, healthy food)

Screenshot of BBC Countryfile Mutton Renaissance

BBC Countryfile Mutton Renaissance

Watch the Weobley Ash excerpt here:  Weobley Ash Mutton – Farm to Fork

Further information from the BBC Coutryfile website here: Sheep Theme or the Radio Times here: Sheep Theme

 

 

 

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Helen Pickersgill

July 26, 2015

Life is full of the most delightful surprises! An unexpected addition to the flock! http://t.co/r0m68d1EBu

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Spring is on its way?

FEBRUARY 2014

Ho Hum, I imagine spring is on its way. Meanwhile we continue to trudge through mud, mud, mud.  Mustn’t grumble; at least we are having a much better time than many other farmers coping with full blown floods!  All our breeding ewes are indoors, protected an cosy.

Our first lamb was born on 16th from an errant ewe who found her way to the big boys.  We are not supposed to start lambing until the end of March. Still, its lovely to have a bouncy little boy.

 

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The 2013 Lambing Story

The 2013 Lambing Story

The weather leading up to laming had been very wet.  Feeding the ewes over the winter had proved challenging as the tractor tore strips in the ground…..

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And as we followed the weather forecast, and the start of lambing approached, the threat of snow became more imminent…

The pools are still visible even under a blanket of snow

The pools are still visible even under a blanket of snow

This is really not the conditions for lambing.  And the inevitable hypothermia followed….

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Yes, these poor lambs are in our kitchen, snuggled up next to the wood burner. And you’ll be pleased to know that all these lambs survived and indeed thrived after their cold start.

Thankfully, friends to whom we are eternally grateful came to our rescue and let us use their barns. Here are many of our ewes in the comfort of a spacious barn, protected from the wind and the wet. They can cope with the cold without the chill factor created by wind, and provided they are dry.

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This is a nicely designed barn with a raised area for feed hay (on the right) and you will see two designs of pens.  The black panels are pens made from recycled farm plastic clipped together to make warm and cosy pens. On the periphery of the far end of the barn you will see conventional pens made from hurdles.  Once a ewe has lambed, we move her and her lambs to a pen to support them bonding and also to prevent mis-mothering.  Mis-mothering is when another ewe takes lambs.  This can easily happen in a packed barn when a ewe who is about to give birth sees a lamb that is just born.  And the lamb will go to any ewe who will allow them to feed!

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The first lamb born in the comfort of our friends barn!  Notice the orange dots on the back of the ewes.  We have our ewes scanned to know how many lambs to expect. A single dot means one lamb. Two dots means triples.  Twins, which are the ideal and thankfully the most popular are not marked. Knowing what to expect makes lambing easier and also allows us to feed the ewes appropriately during pregnancy.  We also use condition scoring to target feeding to needs.

After a quick clean up the lambs are ready for breakfast

Lambs are remarkably quick to get to their feet and start suckling.  They strive to survive!

Still a bit cold, but it's nice to be outside

After a protected lambing in the barn they are now ready to run off homeIMG_5626
Notice the ewes are returning to the barn; they had rushed off without their lambs!IMG_5630

Dino brings the sheep in for close inspection

Dino brings the sheep in for close inspection

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