Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A wet windy one today

I know it's been quite a few day's since I've done a blog, and in that time we have done quite a lot on the farm. My excuse is that for a few days there we had no internet connection. But we have now so here we are.

Now, what have I been up to?? Well since we finished seeding we have tailed all our lambs. If you've been following my blog for a while you'd probably know that we're running 4 mobs of ewes with lambs. We tailed a mob each day (starting a few days ago... I cant remember the exact days we did them).

The tailing operation involves bringing the mob of ewes and lambs into the yards. Then draughting off the lambs (that is separating them off from the ewes). They are moved into a small yard so they can be easily picked up. They are picked up placed in the tailing cradle so all the tailing procedures can be done. We give them a Glanvac 3-in-1 B12 injection (a vaccination for 3 things -- cant remember what the 3 things are, and also a vitamin B12). The young rams are castrated with an elastrator rubber ring, they soon become wethers. Their tails are docked and, being merino (the breed), we mules them.

The first mob we did was the mob over at mum & dad's. The lambing percentage there was 97% (that is 97 lambs for every 100 ewes). The next mob was 108%, the third 107% and the last mob, over at bob's... 65%. So I'm not sure what the difference was with that mob.. but they didn't do quite as well. We had to do a little extra draughting on that last mob, as there were a few mobs running together, so we sorted that out while we were there. That was actually yesterday.

To keep the mobs separate we had to do some fencing. I was about to say "a quick fencing job" but it wasn't really all that quick. We had to run out new cyclone along the entire side of one paddock. Probably about 300 to 400m (yeah ok, so it was the short side of the paddock). Then had to wire the cyclone (which is fencing wire... um it's hard to describe, but I'm sure more information would be available with a quick google search) to the posts. We just put it on straight over the old stuff, which had basically disintegrated... and the sheep were just walking straight through.

About a week ago we started to notice yellowing in some of the wheat paddocks. Our agronomist had noticed too and suggested that it was probably chemical damage from the Logran we used at seeding time, especially where there was any spray overlap. He recommended using a trace element blend to keep it up and running. So I have sprayed the three paddocks at Oldlands, and intend to do all the correll wheat that we used logran on. I'll do that as soon as we have the right weather for it. Today has been the first day that I've had available, now we've finished lamb tailing. But today has been quite wet and windy, and I couldn't get any vehicle onto a paddock without either making a very big mess, or getting it bogged on the paddock... or both.

Other ongoing jobs include the repair of the Ford 8401. The clutch packed up on it. Today I gave the mechanic in town a hand to fix it up. He had split the tractor (right down the middle - pulled the front (engine) away from the back (cab and gearbox etc)). So he had the clutch out, found that it was had it, and got a new one. He found that the flywheel was also stuffed, but was able to get the local engineer to machine it back, and it was good as gold. Today I gave him a hand to put the flywheel back on, put the new clutch in, and put the tractor back together again. I left him to reattach all the wiring, hoses etc. and I should be able to get the tractor back tomorrow. Although I wont be able to use it... as it will still be too wet. But never mind, we never complain about it being too wet. Right at this moment I can hear heavy rain falling on the roof, and it's a very nice sound.

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