Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Barren Island Again

Archie the South Devon Bull
Left at 6:30am  to go across to Barren Island.  Gathered all the ewes again.  Drafted them of into their ages.  The sheep are bad for going down onto the beaches on Barren when they are heavy in lamb.  They appear to do this to eat kelp which is high in minerals.   This sometimes leads to loss of animals on reefs.  They appear to go out on them and get cut off by the tide.  Some years we lose non and sometimes we lose quite a lot.  The purpose of drafting them today was to count how many of each age group there are and top  each age group up rather then replace the loss with all young ewes.  It appears that if we do have a loss on Barren the biggest percentage will be in the 2 year old ewes.  These are  some of our most valuable animals wool wise and it is better financially to replace with only enough 2 year olds to keep the flock balanced then top all the other age groups up again.  We hope to sort this problem out by fencing areas of the coast where we think we are losing sheep. We just finished as it started to rain and got a good soaking going back out to the boat.
This afternoon I spent the afternoon paying bills and doing paperwork ready for the plane tomorrow.  We have asked for a freight run tomorrow as I haven't had any mail since before the end of January and there will be bills that need paying before the end of the month.  We are also taking the opportunity to send two of the pups away.  One is going to Stanley as a pet and the other is going into the vet for an operation because it has a belly button hernia.  I prefer not to call in a plane if  no one is flying in or out because it seems an extreme expense to drop off mail and stores but sometimes you have to.
Christopher spent the afternoon getting the boat ready to take the small lambs over to the reservation on Tea Point.  He left 4 o'clock ish and is not back yet at 7 o'clock but he has to unload them from Theo in small lots and tow them to the shore in our old dingy using our new one as there there is no jetty for Theo to get alongside.
Got the result of our 310 lambs from Barren today.  Really pleased, 126 maxed out price wise.  Pleased with all the results some were obviously ready to go earlier, others could have done with a bit longer.  I guess we will always have this problem because we have to be able to fill crates.  A crate holds between 150 to 170. This time we sent 310 in two crates, we can't send them away in small lots because we only have limited visits from Concordia Bay.

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