The season is all but over here. Today Christopher and Ali (Ali is our hired hand and is here for about a month while Shaun is in Stanley stevedoring). took 108 ewes and 75 lambs down to Barren Island on Theo. They left here (Speedwell) with the first load at 6am and were back at 10am. They then had an early lunch and set out with the second load. Here they are able to run the sheep down the jetty and down a ramp onto Theo but at Barren they have to unload them onto the dinghy and take them ashore. The dinghy holds about 15 at a time and Theo can carry 100 fully grown sheep comfortably so today she was quite lightly loaded because of the mixed load. They got back from the second trip at 4pm. It was the perfect day for moving sheep with only a light breeze. This pretty much concludes the season for us. All our camps have been gathered, the sheep have been counted and the stock is now set for the winter. This year we have decided to put 100 lambs that were too small for the abattoir on Barren Island. We normally run just 300 ewes on Barren because it has extensive erosion on it but the ewes are getting obese and then we have problems with them dieing from exhaustion every time we have to bring them in for lamb marking or shearing. The decision was taken this year to increase the stock because the ewes despite having a near 100% lambing were still obese when they arrived at the abattoir. This meant that we didn't achieve optimum price for them as the price goes down again once they pass fat class 3. We have had as many as 350 ewes on the island before so it should have no problem coping with the extra lambs.
|Theo with sheep on board late last year.|