Chunky Monkey gang

Poor ewe is still stuck in the shed. 16 days now. I was hoping to turn her back out this weekend but the wound behind her ear is not healed enough. Theres a 1cm bit that is still not sealed.
We are getting colder nights now and only 12 hours of daylight but when the sun shines those pesky flies come out. One of the little ram lambs had been having a punch up with his pals so the base of his horn had an open wound the other day. Flies were clinging to it. I purple sprayed and put some summer fly cream on and hes not had any flies since. That was only a small nik. The ewes wound was a good 2 inchs long and an inch wide. It wouldnt take a few flies long to get that opened up. Considering how awful it looked though, im really happy with how the healing is going.
I could turn her out, spray and cream it daily against the flies but i think she will be hard to catch in the field so a few more days in the shed and hope i can get her out next weekend.
Shes so grumpy, she actually tried butting me like the rams do.
Ive been hand pulling her lots of grass twice a day and putting it in her hay rack. Most sheep wont eat it like that but she seems to have taken a fancy to my efforts. Has lost loads of weight but she'll put it back on as soon as she goes out.
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Finally turned the ewe out at the weekend. Got her on a halter and tried to walk her across the yard and up the slope onto the road were i had parked the trailer. I thought she had been halter trained a little in the past. Clearly not. She was having none of it. Up in the air. Flew round me, lead rope nearly taking my legs out. I was heading for the ground. Thank goodness i only had to take her 40 metres to get her in the trailer. I drove her through the fields.
Managed to get hold of her the next day to look at the ear, but not a chance since. So only been able to see the wound from about 10ft away. No flies buzzing so hopefully all is good.
Put the horses back on turmeric powder a couple of weeks ago. Think its going to Billys head. Moved the poly posts this morning to give them a bite of fresh grass. Walk away. I hear squeals from behind and billy comes charging up behind me followed by chunky at an attemped trot. Put some hay out as theres not much grass actually left on the track. They havent had any hay for a few weeks. Nope they didnt want that. Billy was pacing around me instead which is never safe.
Think they need a good walk out.
Just sitting here waiting for the vet to arrive. Weve got our first TB retest. Cows have been very cooperative so far. Moved them with Quins help from the top field, down and across two fields. Gave them a break while i went off to put there hay out for afters and check sheep. Then came back and walked them up into the corral and shut the gate. Easy peasy with 25 minutes to spare. It might not be quite as easy putting them through the crush in a minute. Ive got my steels on.
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Was an early start this morning. Vet came at 7.30 to look at the cattle. We have been given the all clear but one of the little boys had lumps top and bottom. After a reactor they read as severe but it seems as there were two lumps and no difference its a pass. Another test still has to be done and passed in 2 months time before we are officially classed as clear and we can sell some.

Ive weaned the 4 calves off so they are now in the shed. I shall ring my friend as we still need to get them all dehorned. Then i can start halter training.
Put mums up in the top field. Just been and looked and one has gone through at least 3 paddocks. Probably under the polywires. The other 7 are still were i put them for now. She'll have to stay there for now as im taking mum for her flu and covid jab. Its very noisy just now.
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Still noisy but some silence. One momma cow went through the electric wires 3 times in 24 hrs on Saturday. She seems to have given up that now. But the 4 mommas are fence walking each new paddock they go into each day. The wear on the fence line grass is getting less each day though.

The calves go nuts in the shed when i try to get near them. Started desensitisation with a long broom handle on all there backs. Broom handle means i can touch and rub but be sure to stay well clear of there back legs.
Last night starter halter training process. Had a long rope around all 4 heads. Theres one girl who realised very quick that everywhere she went round the pen i went. So eventually she stood still and i was able to stroke her. Think she could be a nice lady. Ive caught her looking sweetly and inquisitive at me a few times and shes not shy when i put my hand out to her. I like those sort as they can be easy to break.
They are still learning what hard food is. Theyve never had any. I put it in the trough and they eat it during the day currently. Give it a week and it'll be gone in seconds. Once that happens i can start halter training with food bribes.

Shhh Dont tell the rams but I shall be making them happy boys this afternoon. Cant believe its got to that time of year already. Sat here drawing up the list of whos going to which boy. Never did I think I would still have Jonah. Hes 8 this year which is old for a ram. He looked so skinny when he finished his work in January and with no teeth I thought I would have to make the decision to let him go but hes put weight back on over the summer and looks capable, holds his own with the other two younger boys, so he will get a couple of ladies. There is a chance that he might not be fertile, and if in 3 weeks time he remarks all the ones hes with then I will pull them from him and put them in with one of the other rams. Obviously certain girls cant go to certain boys as they are related. Most lambs born had good conformation and good horns this year so most meets will be repeat meets of last year. I will avoid putting a ewe with tight horns to a ram with tight horns as it just produces off spring with terrible horns that turn back into the face. It can be particularly bad with the rams as they grow round and back into the face and you end up sawing the horns off. Jonah, Rocky and Roger have got to the point where they stay down the bottom of the field and dont come up for food in the yard. Makes it really difficult for me to check on them as I cant see where they are if they are at the bottom of the field. They can see the girls two fields over so they spend there time at the fence watching them and fighting one another.

So Quin will have some official work today bringing the girls all the way back to the yard. Then the girls are having there 6 monthly pedicure before they meet the boys. We will wrestle the boys to trim there feet and put there harnesses on.
In fairness Quin has been working the ewes everyday gathering them all at the gate for me to check. This week Ive had an extra job as one lamb went very lame on Wednesday and I could see the back foot was extremely swollen and blistering so I caught her, gave her an antibiotic, sprayed with blue spray, although pointless as its so wet it will just wash straight off. Its been that mild that she had got maggots crawling all over the foot and half way up her leg. Theyve made an awful mess of her leg so I think its them that have made her lame. I annihilated them yesterday with some strong med that kills the maggots fairly instantly. For my sins it sprayed back and I got myself in the face and eyes too with chemical. I washed my eyes in the running stream but my god was it stinging for most of the day.

The dear little ram lambs are also leaving me on Monday morning. They have grown reasonable well this year. They will start to loose weight now with it going colder and there minds are also on ladies. Those hormones are kicking in, so they are just having punch ups with one another now. Feeding can be difficult to as I have to watch my back or I get a set of horns in the legs. They do at least come up and sleep in the sheds overnight unlike the big boys.
After a long day of sheep work today. I will have a completely new routine and different fields to go to check the sheep for the next couple of months. Always a challenge getting my head round the changes for the first few days, although i do like having changes because as they say a change is as good as a rest.
The wet ground looks to be causing problems for a number of the sheeps feet. After earlier this week finding the lame lamb with maggots crawling. I found a number of other ewes who have severe foot soars similar to mud fever. Feet were not over grown just soars at the pasterns caused due to the wet grass. I foot dipped the worst couple and applied blue spray but i think given how many there were i will mix up a proper foot bath in a few weeks time to walk them all through which should kill the bacteria causing it. I dont see much point whilst its so wet as i would need to treat daily which simply isnt feasible to get them all back to the yard daily. Plus it would be washed off in seconds the minute the feet retouch the grass.
Wonder if there will be lots of horses showing the same. I believe the bacteria is very similar to that of mud fever. My sheep have not been in any mud, the field was 12 inchs of deep grass.
Horses went back in with the cows on Thursday. So they are now on daily rotation over 20 acres. Hoped it would settle them a bit. Theyve got plenty of grass. Too much really. Decided to take them out for a little inhand walk today. Opened the gate to let them out on the road. Normally they stick there head down for some grass nibbles not today. Both had a fast walk on down the road. Fortunately got hold of Billy before he got to far but Chunky got 100m before i managed to persuade him to stop so i could catch him up. Billy managed to stand on my foot yet again. He just wants to walk fast all the time. Hes just so clumpsy and he walks with swagger which is how he manages to catch me i think.

All the ewes have been marked so if they all hold it will be 11 lambings over a 2 week period. End of March, beginning of April
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Progressed the calves halter training to the field on Saturday. I only have a tiny yard so there is only so much walking out into the yard and back into the shed halter training you can do. It didnt all go to plan but then it wasnt a complete disaster either and im still in one peice. Didnt face plant. 3 of the 4 calves got a little to excited and resulted on me having to let go of the leads or get pulled over and dragged down the steep field. No thankyou. I know when to let go. Its the first time theyve seen grass in 6 weeks since they were weaned so minds were blown by walking in a field.
The good thing was that every one that got loose after a little run then headed back up to the yard, so once in, i could shut the gate and pick up the trailing lead which by now was very soggy and once dragged through my muddy yard required a dunking in a bucket of water before i could do the next one. This is the second year ive done autumn halter training, normally is done in May after the lambing and weather and fields are dry. Im very wary of slipping over on the grass and mud. So if a 150kg of cow pulls to hard and gets me off balance i have to let go for my safety.
The fourth cow is still not playing ball. Shes not cottoned on to the fact that i have food in a bucket, she wont eat out my hand either. So i didnt even try food bribes to keep her walking. She just got walked. When she did fight i fought back refusing to let go of the lead. I dont think she will head back to the yard if she got loose. So id be chasing her round a 5 acre field for some time. She is an independent madam at the moment. If she doesnt start to learn i will put her up for sale at the first opportunity once we get the all clear for the TB status.
Sunday i didnt train, too much else going on. So i did training yesterday and nobody got free from me.
This morning one whipped round a bit to quick so i just let her go. I actually caught her again in the middle of the field with the bucket of food so definitely progressing.
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These are coming off tomorrow. Finally. Its been difficult to get arranged this year. So they are far older being done than id like. As there so developed theyll probably be regrowth. Dexter are notorious for regrowth if there not done young enough and the root bud burned properly. All 4 have horns so they will all be getting the chop. This boy is the worse though. Boy does he know hes got them. Hes put his head down and gone for me a couple of times this week.

Billy looking all inoccent after knocking me over yesterday. In his thicker rug. Its only a 6ft rug but its so deep in the body. He has long legs too which takes some of the length up. On the banks it looks like it almost touches the floor.


Rocky with his ladies. Was lovely and white with our deep frost.
Had just had to change his raddle colour again. As the last one was only on for a week before it was emptied. Hes gone a week without any crayon so any remates this last week i now wont know about. So i will play guess when im due in 5 months.There suppose to last a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks. Cant decide if it was because the make i brought were very soft and were being rubbed away to quick especially with him being on the steep bank field or if the crows were flying down when he was laying down and pecking it away. He didnt look polker dot but Roger on the other hand is showing evidence of crows sitting on him having pecked at the crayon. I had a similar problem last year to. Im sure its the crayons i brought though, they seem inferior. They are from a different manufacturer, cheaper too, its what most shops stock now though and they seem far too soft. If there too hard they wont mark. Considering my lads only have a few girls to mark id hate to use them on a flock where there marking 50 odd sheep, theyd only last a couple of days.


The bad news is it looks like Jonah who is the old ram is now infertile. He is almost 9 though. No front teeth left so struggles to maintain his bidy weight. Not uncommon for them to go infertile once they get to 6 or 7. He has re served both his ladies this week. So i will take both the girls away from him next weekend and put them with one of the other boys. If they cycle again for a 3rd time they will be redone by one of the other boys.
Jonah has been lame since early october, i think one if the other hit him hard before they were separated to go in with there ladies. Looks like it is the front shoulder. Id hoped for an abcess in the foot but ive trimmed him twice in the last month and foot dipped him a number of times. Theres no foot sore so im sure its the top of his leg thats causing discomfort. It hasnt stopped him doing his business though as both the girls each time had plenty of crayon left marking on there rumps. So i strongly suspect infertility. Hes been getting round the field even though hes lame but honestly i think its now time to make that tough decision. When i take his two girls away next week, it will leave him on his own which is not sensible as he will start ramming gates to get across to the other ladies in the next field so i will give him one girl who has not been very well all summer and i have decided she needs to be pts so he can have her company until. He cant be shut in a shed to box rest as he will just smash the shed to bits. It what rams do. So hes best out in the field for now. I wanted to give jonah time for his leg to heal. Ive seen improvement but honestly its not enough and he cant be left longterm limping so i think i will be taking the two to the hunt very soon.
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Farrier came mid week to trim Chunky. Hopefully he will be a bit more comfortable now hes been rebalanced. He gave it his all this morning and cantered up the steep bank this morning when i let them through to the next paddock. Then threw himself down for a roll.

Turned two of the calves out today once the rain passed. Hoping we only get light rain this week. Theyve been in the shed for 2 months so they need chance to harden back up to the good old weather. There both walking on the head collars and did come back for a bit of food out my hand once free so i feel ive done alm i can with them for now. Ive left two still in the shed. Both walk on the halters one will come up and eat from my hand but hes a bit timid and backs off. The other is an absolute Witch. No stick a 'B' in front of that. Two months in and i literally feel like ive got nowhere with her. She runs away the minute i walk towards her. Tail swishing at me. Not properly interested in food. Will on occasion eat out of my hand so i know theres hope. With the other two in the pen they were getting the attention as they were in the way knocking me over for food and she was just using them to hide behind. So now there out she has nowhere to hide. Im hoping within two weeks she will change her mind and realise i have food, shes just got to stick to me like glue and she will get all she wants. Hopefully the timid lad will also gain more confidence.

Jonahs looking stronger on his leg. Ive put another lady with him today and will take the other two away tomorrow who can go to Roger.
Changed my mind last minute last week and the two girls i was taking away from Jonah went in with Rocky. Still waiting to see if they cycle for a third time. But Rockys redone one of his again today for the third time. The dates are all over the place so shes not cycling every 3 weeks.
Finally been confirmed why the raddle crayons are not lasting. I thought crows and i will let them off for now. Its a flippin magpie. Saw it with my own eyes today. Jumping up on the rams back, doing the hop around the body, then hoping down onto the ground in front of the ram and pecking out the crayon off the chest. Rams clearly not bothered.
Im not buying anymore crayons to feed the magpie. Rams are coming away from the girls in two weeks so i might have to play guess when im due. Im more worried about the ones not holding to service.

Managed to do a few in hand walk outs with the horses this week. Billy's manners have been really good, and i dont feel like hes taking me for the walk. Probably because ive been consistent. Wont be able to do many walks with them for the next 10 days though.
Chunky is really struggling to keep up, hes keen enough to walk but hes getting further behind with his plod, so i have to keep stopping with Billy to let him catch up now.
I dont know whether to stop walking him out but they do say try to keep them walking to support the muscles. Plus i think it adds to the stimulation. I just find it so hard to watching him limp with the arthritis.
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It’s horrible watching age catch up with them, can you take them separately so he doesn’t feel pressured to keep up?
can you take them separately so he doesn’t feel pressured to keep up?

@Jessey i think the answer to that one was a no. I tried today.
Billy was trying his best to hoon around this morning so i thought i would leave it till this afternoon then take them for an inhand walk and take them separate for a change so i could take billy a bit further. Billy went out looking lovely. Came back a dripping, lathered mess. He really did loose it. His manners well there was none. My arms are going to feel it tomorrow. He got extremely vocal on his walk too.
When we got back i left him stood in whilst i walked Chunky. He was still being vocal then too, as a dog walker i met at the bottom of the lane commented on his noise.
They havent been out for a week and these winds have not helped. So it wasnt the ideal scenario. They havent been separated at all for 6 months. I will try taking them seperate again. If i did it more regularly he'd get over it. I did use to hack him on his own afterall. Just shows how they can mentally can change. Chunky couldnt care less about being on his own. Hes always was a saint.
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Blimey, not ideal! But as you say they do get used to it, Jess was screaming after monkeys recent 6 week break (so they hadn’t been apart) but she does settle after a few weeks.
Its all change today. Boy do i need a break. The morning rounds have gone from about 1¼ to almost 2 hrs. Its mainly due to having to feed the extra hay to everyone. The mornings finally start to draw out here on Friday. So a great positive. Ive found it hard these last few weeks getting up and then with the extra work ive not been getting to work till much later.
So rams are coming out from the ladies. Girls are all going back together. Everbody is getting wormed today to. I will go from 4 batches of sheep to just 2. Sheep wise this is the quiet time on the farm.
I wanted to leave the ewe lambs separate because ive been using them to give Quin his practice everyday but they are the furthest away so it would still take time to do checks and feed and I foresee having to feed lots of hay to the cows and horses now for the next few months. If i dont move lambs it means 3 batches. So i think im going to bring them back and regroup them to. It will give Quin a break, he wont like that, but hopefully he will be more hungry for work when i recommence his training.
They are forecasting a cold snap from next week, we havent seen a proper cold snap yet this winter. I think weve had about 4 days total frost so far so being January i reckon we might get some snow soon too.
Sheep are going onto the field we cut hay off in September so theres plenty of grass in there to keep them till mid March when they come home for lambing. The lambs need to bulk up so i can advertise some of them for sale asap. With some tasty grass and Quin not running the weight off them they should look nice to sell.
The vet is coming tomorrow and again friday for TB Testing. Holding my breath for the results on Friday. They also have to look at the sheep. New EU rules mean farmers have to have a stupid peice of paper to sell cull cows or sheep at a market or send animals to the abbatoir. Its only just been brought in and is down right ridiculous red tape but without it farms cant operate. So its another reason im moving sheep around today as they all need to be nearby tomorrow for the vet check.
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