Friday, April 6, 2012

George Island

We came down to George late Tuesday.  There is a lot of wind about at the moment and we have to be constantly checking the windplot grib files when we want to move to find a suitable weather window.  All the wool is now away from Speedwell and we are now down on George to get the Barren wool away and the remainder of the George bales away.  We are also sending our last 280 lambs and mutton to the abattoir.
Yesterday Christopher gathered all the sheep in on the island and we drafted off the sheep for the abattoir.  The weather is really starting to break now and we found ourselves sheltering against the water tanks to keep out of the hail.  The animals drafted really well which helped on such a crappy day.  We cant complain  we have had a fantastic summer.  After the animals go on the boat tomorrow we will only have approx. 100 ewes to take across to Barren to make the flock back up on there.  We brought 2 pens full of ewes down on the boat with us that are destined for the abattoir to save the Concordia Bay having to work both islands.  Mainly because Shaun is still not back at Speedwell and we had no one to work the boat up there.  Christopher also went across and collect the 8 bales of wool from Barren to make it a bit quicker when Concordia Bay arrives.  The Concordia Bay normally only does livestock movement or cargo but because we do not have too many sheep to go they have agreed to do both.  This is not possible if we are sending 600 plus because the animals are protected by animal welfare and are not allowed to exceed a certain number of hours in transit.  The transit time starts from the time the first animal is loaded until the time the last one is unloaded at the abattoir.  If we were to send cargo and a large number of animals together there would be a chance they would exceed their time limit although this would be unlikely.
Taken from on top of the wheelhouse.  It was higher then it looked and I couldn't bring myself to stand up when I got up there.

Navigation lights in the dusk

Theo at the end of George jetty.

Ewes going up the gangway onto the jetty.

Pen full of ewes.

Honestly it wasn't me digging holes in the yard.

Would I lie?
As soon as the boat leaves tomorrow we will be leaving also to go to Stanley.  In Stanley we will core test the wool so that we can get the micron and yield results back as soon as possible.  The wool samples will be sent to New Zealand for testing.  I have lotted the wool into 5 different lots for coring. They are A,B,C,A/B Sandy and C Sandy.  All our oddments, bellies, stain, necks and pieces have been sold in their greasy state and these will not be tested.  We have already booked a container to send the wool away in and we hope to have it away from the Falklands by the end of April.  We can send 26 ton of wool away in one container but to do this we will have to have some of our wool double dumped.  I think this will still leave us with about 6 bales of wool that we will not be able to get away this season.  To be cost effective you need to fill the 40 ft container to capacity.


  1. Great post. Love the photos.

  2. It is always interesting to learn how your farm operation works spread over three islands. You are lucky you have no predators and the weather is mild. Currently we have a wolf pack close to our town. While wolves are not dangerous for humans they may kill livestock. A shepherd in our area would have to cope with this, ususally by having donkeys and/or Great Pyrennes dogs that will fight off wolves and coyotes.

    Also lambing here is done indoors as the weather is too cold in lambing season. Farmers will be in the barn during lambing season for about a month. I take it your sheep lamb alone out on the land.

    1. Hi Philip,
      As you say we are lucky to have no predators such as wolves although a couple of islands have had fox introduced to them which have become a pest in the lambing season. Our sheep do have their own problems to contend with though. These come mainly in the form of the Southern Giant Petrol. With our islands having some of the biggest concentrations in the Falklands these birds are a pest during lambing season. They will kill lambs straight after birth. As we have a lot of twins born the first born is quite vunerable while the mother is still lambing. It is not such a big problem on Speedwell but is quite significant on George and Barren because of the flatness of the land and the lack of shelter. We always hope for calm weather when George and Barren are lambing as this keeps the Petrols grounded more. We also have the Johnny Rook which kills lambs and we have even seen them riding ewes trying to bring them to the ground.
      Yes you are right all our ewes lamb outdoors alone. The worse the weather is the less we go out. The couple you may save by going out is counteracted by the amount that you probably cause problems for by driving them out of the shelter they have managed to find. I love going out shepherding when the ewes are lambing but you can cause more problems then good. With our ewes not being constantly handled the first time mothers can be easily spooked which causes them to run off and leave their lambs. We also get mis-mothering when they are collected in large groups and disturbed. Small lambs tend to just run with what ever is closest and it may not be the group with their mother in. I have had more then my share of pet lambs caused by our own good intentions.

  3. Hello Lindsey. I'm so pleased to meet someone from the Falkland Islands. I have read a few of your posts, all of which are extremely interesting. I shall never claim to know what hard work is ever again. Heehee your dog looks really guilty, I once had one who was just as expressive.

  4. Hi Valerie,
    Im glad you are finding my blog interesting. I am a bit lazy and quite often don't post when I have something to post about and then do one about nothing in particular.


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