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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Green start to December

We ended up with 100mm for November, so our kikuyu is off to a nice start for the summer. After the previous blog entry, someone suggested I needed to treat the sheep for lice after showing their hair on the fences. However, there's no lice on our hair sheep. If you have hairsheep, you know they rub, a lot. Hence why I had scratching posts built near each water trough to help relieve their itch, and hopefully take some pressure off the fences.

We do have some sheep at risk of lice problems, the sheep that have too much wooly hair on them, but those sheep will be culled in due course. I've never seen any lice on any of them when inspected in the yards so far.

We finished marking all the lambs recently and we have 4580 ewes, lambs and rams on the 185ha. Far lower than I had planned on, and as you've seen in the photos through the season, far lower than we could carry. Hopefully with some financing in place, we will not be hindered anymore in our growth. Sales have been made for many of our sheep between now and early January, so our numbers will be decreasing over the coming weeks.

There is still plenty of work needed to get the pastures right and keep enough roughage up to the sheep. I won't be trying to make our pastures less lush. That goes completely against what my plans are for Caluka Farms. It is pasture first, sheep second. If the sheep don't like well fertilised pasture, they are not the type of sheep we will be keeping on the farm.

Below are some recent photos of various paddocks.

A 3 month old wether lamb with a head pressing problem. Unfortunately it did not last the night. Consensus is there was a brain problem, but from what we don't know.

Please excuse the fly getting in front of the lens. A closer look at a species I did sow in the paddocks in May 2019 - plantain.

One of the two paddocks we cut hay off giving a clear view of the kikuyu under it.

This is what many of the paddocks look like at the moment. Senescing ryegrass with kikuyu underneath it. This is a mob of ewe lambs in with the rams. They are due to move onto the next paddock, but because there is so much feed and we are days away from taking the rams out and this paddock is close to the yards, they are staying in the paddock for an extra few days.

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We lost some sheep back when we used to put heavy rates of SoA on kike, with some head pressing but mostly star gazing. Dr Google told me it was likely PEM (polioencephalomalacia) which is caused by Thiamine deficiency. This can be caused by high Sulphur content in the diet. I started injecting affected animals with Vit B1 with good results. Might be worth a try if it is an ongoing problem.

Kind Regards,


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Julien Fradin
Julien Fradin
08. Dez. 2020

Hi Wayne,

Hope you're fine, always good to read your blog.

A couple of sentence got me wondered "There is still plenty of work needed to get the pastures right and keep enough roughage up to the sheep. I won't be trying to make our pastures less lush." What do you call roughage ? just grass? Or do you mean sheep need roughage and green stuff at same time ? A small explanation is needed here Sire ;)



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