Notes from Meetings

sheep meeting 23-2-15

sheep meeting 8-9-14

 

Rota for checking sheep

Sheep Rota July August 2015

Sheep Rota May June 15

Sheep rota April

Sheep Rota Sept Oct 15

Sheep Rota Nov Dec 15

 

 Flock Diary

October 30th

All animals did well over the summer and the two oldest ewes have recently been turned into suasages and burgers to realise some cash. This year's lambs have been separated from the older ewes who are now running with a loaned Dorset ram. In the spring the male lambs will have fattened enough for the butcher and will be another source of funds to maintain the flock.

May 30th

The final lamb, a healthy male was born unaided today. So a total of 6 lambs this year.

April 18th

A number of 'shepherds' turned out to give the flock some TLC, clipping hooves and cleaning up dirty bottoms. All ewes and lambs now in the top orchard.

                                                                          flock2 15 but where are the sheep?

April 13th

Early thus morning another Jacob gave birth unaided to a female lamb. So only one ewe yet to lamb but probably not for a while.

All bar the new mother and her lamb are now in the top orchard.

                                                                           ewe and lamb april15

March 22nd 

On March 11th one of the Jacob ewes struggled to birth a very latge lamb which was stillborn.

On 19th March we had three more lambs arrive. The Welsh Black gave birth unaided in the early morning and was moved into the barn. Later in the evening another Jacob unexpectedly produced twins, the first in the Brook House chicken run and the second in the garage!. 

                                                                                                garage lambs

March 6th

Our Dorset ewe was the first to give birth on 4th March, to twins, a male and a female, with no human help. She knew exactly what to do and is proving a great mum. The twins were born outsde but were immediately led into the barn for protection from the elements and foxes.

lambs 2 15   lambs 3 15   

lambs 4   15   lambs 5 15

lambs 6 15     lambs 7 15

      lambs 8 15               lambs 2 15  

 

March 1st 2015

A large working party of all ages turned out to prepare the lower orchard and barn for the coming lambing. The barn was swept out, brambles cut back and the fence extended to include a larger area for grazing. That complete the four ewes expected to lamb in March were enticed by a rattling bucket of their favourite nuts to walk through the village from the Brook House field to the gate at the bottom of the orchard, and on up to their new home. Easy!!

Moving ewes1       moving ewes2

moving ewes3      moving ewes5

January/ February 2015

The six ewes which had been away with the ram returned to the Community Orchard, hopefully in lamb. Shortly afterwards one of last year's lambs which had remained with us over-winter died suddenly despite avet's treatment. So our flock now numbers nine animals.

After a few weeks, as grass began to run short they were moved to the field opposite Brook House. This year the aim is to lamb the ewes ourselves.

                                                   sheep Feb 15

 

June 2014

As only three lambs survived from our ewes we bought another ewe with a lamb making four lambs in total for the season.

 

29 March 2014

Our first three lambs arrived today - all very sweet! Our Dorset Cross had twins and one of last year's lambs had a single.

Lamb 14 1      lambs14 2

 

 

12 March 2014

A working party spent Sunday morning preparing the barn and area outside it, ready for our new lambs. Brambles and hedging were clipped back, dead grass scythed away and fencing put in place. All in beautiful sunshine, after many wet and dreary weeks.

 

     

20 March 2013

The first lambs arrived in early March, triplets of which two survived, followed by another set of triplets. This time only one survived. We have been told that many farmers are struggling, after the difficult winter, to keep triplets alive but we were sad to lose ours. However the remaining three lambs are doing well and should be joined shortly by another ewe, our Welsh Black who is due to lamb shortly. Two more of our ewes (last years's lambs), which did not conceive in their first season, will also be returning to join our flock.

lamb 2013 1     Lamb 2013 2   Lamb 2013 3

March 28th 2013

Sadly the Welsh Black had triplets, none of which survived their first day. She and the two ewe lambs which did not conceive have returned to our flock.

On Saturday 20th April the lambs with their mothers were transferred across the road to the upper orchard where they joined the rest of the flock.

   First the lambs had to be tagged        moving lambs 1     

                                                moving lambs 3

 

                                                moving lambs 4

In early June the three lambs we had overwintered were taken to the abbatoir and the meat bought by members of the group.

 

History 

The community flock was started in 2011 (see further down this page for the flock's history). 

The most recent developments are posted at the top of the page

October 2012

All the sheep prospered over the summer and a meeting was held on 8th October to discuss plans for the winter. It was decided that two old ewes would be slaughtered for meat, being too old to breed again while the three younger ewes and two of the largest ewe lambs would be taken to Reg, the farmer to be put to a ram, overwintered and lambed. Four of the remaining boy lambs would be butchered for meat in a few weeks time and the other three would be wintered in our own orchard and a neighbouring field.

                               sheep oct 12 1

                                         13th October. Sorting out the flock for the winter..                       

 

 

 

Spring 2012

Our first Jacob ewe returned with one male lamb on 19 February and was housed in the lower orchard barn. As the second Jacob was not yet confirmed pregnant we purchased another ewe, a Welsh black, with twin Dorset cross lambs. They joined the others on 4 March.. After a week or so in the barn the flock was introduced to the world outside, first into a pen outside the barn, and finally into the upper orchard on 12 March. We now know that our second Jacob is in lamb.

A further two Jacob ewes were purchased, each with twins, one male and one female, again Dorset crosses. They arrived on Saturday 17 March and immediately bonded with the current sheep.

After a long wait our remaining ewe returned with twin male lambs on 15 May, completing the current flock.

 

At a meeting on 14 March three further families joined the Shepherds Group, bringing the total number of households involved to twelve.

                            flock 1

                                          

                                                                        

                                                                         Sequence of arrivals

 First to arrive - our Jacob ewe with her Jacob Dorset cross male lamb on February 19 2012 

         Arriving in the trailer

          In the barn

                                      

   ewe lamb 29-2-12  Ten days later

Second family arrived on 5th March. The ewe is a Black Welsh and the lambs, one male, one female are Dorset cross.

second lambs1  Arriving at the barn

second lambs 2  Meeting the new neighbours

Second lambs3  Settled in the new home

 

jacob in field      First day out 12 March 2012

ewe twins out

 

ewes 1  Saturday 17 March - two more ewes with twins

 

Sunday 15 April - all growing apace.

April lamb 1   April lamb2  April lamb3

 

Final lambs

After a long wait our last ewe arrived back with beautiful week old twin lambs on Sunday 15 May.. They will stay in the barn for a while before joining the flock in the orchard. We now have five ewes and nine lambs.

final lambs 1  final lambs 2

final lambs3         final lambs4

                                                                   

 

 

2011

 A group of residents decided that owning a small flock of sheep would be a good way of keeping the grass down in the community orchard. After a period of fact finding nine individuals or families paid a sum of money into a flock fund with which an initial purchase of three Jacob cross ewes, each with twin lambs. Unfortunately one ewe was lost to blow fly strike fairly early on but the shepherds learnt from the experience and the rest of the flock thrived. In the autumn the two ewes returned to their original farm to be put to a ram, while the lambs were enjoyed as meat by the shepherds.

The plan is to have the two ewes, with new lambs, back in the spring and to increase the flock to a size suitable for the maintenance of the orchard.

 

                   A local farmer sheared the ewes in May

                  shearing May 11

 

                 The flock with younger shepherds at apple picking time.

                  flock at applepicking