Our last two lambs of this season were successfully birthed this morning bringing our total to 18. No losses and only one difficult birthing – a very large single that required assistance – made this our least stressful and most successful lambing to date.
Today we wormed the ewes prior to moving them to new pasture – well ahead of their due dates – which should be somewheres around the end of April. Even though much of what we do at Hope Bay Farm would meet organic standards, we haven’t been able to find an effective alternative to conventional worming treatments.
Here on the warm, Wet Coast, worms (the internal kind) can be a real problem. A few years ago when we had just started keeping Icelandic sheep, we had the misfortune of loosing one of our prized young ewes to a worm outbreak we didn’t catch in time. Through increased vigilance, better pasture management, which includes improved grazing timing and moving our sheep around the various pastures we have access too (we don’t own any of the land we pasture them on), we keep the use of anthelmintics (worm meds) to a minimum. The Canadian Organic Growers Practical Skills Handbook: Living with Worms in Organic Sheep Production, which came out a few years ago, has been a very helpful resource.