School easter holidays means new arrivals at Jack's Jacobs. Rameses did a good job, all the ewes were pregnant and his lambs were strong and up and sucking quickly. On the whole the ewes behaved and gave birth by themselves first thing in the morning. We now have 14 lambs growing well in the field. I was pleased to see that my research into which ram will keep the spotty coat has paid off and we have some nicely marked lambs. This year also saw me try two adoption methods; a wet adoption, in which I rubbed the birth fluids of the first lamb onto the one I wanted to adopt and fooled the mum into thinking it was hers and a skin adoption; the ewe had a dead lamb so I got an orphan lamb and put the skin of her dead lamb on it until she accepted it as her own. Both methods worked well and the ewes quickly accepted the lambs as their own. Unfortunately things don't always go smoothly and this year has had its ups and downs, however every year is a learning experience and helps improve things for the following years.
The pigs also arrived at the start of the holidays and they are crackers. This year we have a change of boar; he is a Welsh boar and having seen his previous litters he has produced some proper meaty pigs. The spots come from mum who is a Gloucester Old Spot X, they have been very chilled and settled quickly.
The skins also came back over the holidays and I am very pleased with the results. I have been selecting breeding stock to produce well marked rugs and this has paid off well this year. The skins are sent to a tannery at Bridgewater in Devon, the process takes a long time but they are well worth the wait. Most of the rugs have been booked in advance but I still have a few left, drop me an email if you would like one and I can send pictures of the remaining rugs.