Lambing Live

April 1st to April 15th 2012

  • Visit the Lambing Sheds—250 mothers-to-be!
  • Easter Egg Hunt & Paint Lambing Live at Causey FarmYour Prize
  • Sheepdog Demonstrations
  • Meet the Farmer
  • Storytelling Farm visit—meet all the animals
  • Help Little Bo Peep find her sheep 
  • Live Lambcam – watch live lambing 24/7

This Spring, Causey Farm is opening the doors of the ma ternity unit for the first two weeks in April. With over 350 lambs to be born you will see a sheep about to give birth, a lamb being born, or one just after arriving into the world.

See some of the new calves and other young animals and you can even see the sheepdog at work.
Meet the farmer and hear about the work he does during the busy Springtime.

Easter Holidays, April 1st to 15th 2012 noon to 5pm daily. (Last entry 4.30)

Costs: €7 per person (Under 2s free) Family of four €25, Extra family members €6.

There’s no need to book, just drop by.

Sheep Farming at Causey Farm

Lambs Less than 1 hour old at Causey FarmThe Murtaghs are sheep farmers farming 300 acres of Co. Meath farmland between Kells and Athboy. Sheep are a large part of their business and this spring they will lamb 250 ewes. They also farm about 250 beef cattle plus a few pigs. Block and Patch the ever so eager sheepdogs are very important team members.

The Murtaghs produce lambs for the table, mostly for the French market. We put cross bred Horn, Suffolk, Texel & Charolais ewes with a good Suffolk and Romley ram. Matt tends to favour Suffolk rams. The idea is that the qualities from both ram and ewe go into producing lots of what are known as “fat lambs” for sale.

Tupping

Lambs_ChildrenThe gestation period of a sheep (how long a sheep is pregnant) is about 5 months, with most ewes averaging around 147 days. Sheep are also seasonal short day breeders. This means that most breeds of sheep are only fertile in the autumn and come into season as the day length is shortening. This is when the rams meet the ewes.

Farmers like Matt tend to split the flock so they don’t lamb all at once. Matt’s ewes usually lamb in two batches. Some are tupped early, some later. This year the majority of the lambs will be born in the first two weeks in April.

Scanning the Ewes

Lamb ScanAll of the sheep were ultra sounded on Feb 2nd so that Matt knows exactly how many lambs each ewe is expecting. This way they can make sure that they provide extra food to those ewes having twins or triplets compared to those that might only be having a single lamb. Once the ewes have been scanned, they’re marked to show how many lambs they are expecting. Matt uses a dot to show a ewe is carrying a single, 2 dots to denote twins and three dots for triplets.

A Successful Foster Story

Two LambsAll of the sheep were ultra sounded on Feb 2nd so that Matt knows exactly how many lambs each ewe is expecting. This way they can make sure that they provide extra food to those ewes having twins or triplets compared to those that might only be having a single lamb. Once the ewes have been scanned, they’re marked to show how many lambs they are expecting. Matt uses a dot to show a ewe is carrying a single, 2 dots to denote twins and three dots for triplets.

Fostered LambAfter 3 days they progressed to lamb milk formula and then one of the lambs was fostered to a sheep who had lots of milk but whose own lamb had died. They are all now thriving really well. The mother is still looking after two lambs with some help from bottles although her own milk supply is improving and they do not need many bottles any more.

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