Isn’t it funny how a bit of sunshine after a long cold, rain filled winter brings us ‘out’ of the house. Living on a property one can see how sunshine after a persistent winter can bring changes. Despite the farmer being born and bred on the land, we drove back to the property after spending a lovely weekend with family in the city celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary, he commented on how the ‘grass had grown.”
I always look at him in amazement when he makes comments like this as we all know ‘grass always grows with water & heat.’ He also made a comment that he wondered who would eat it and as an answer to his question I spotted a kangaroo (they are wild on our property) and said looks like mum (kangaroo) & joey (baby kangaroo) are. They were standing in the afternoon sun and quite peaceful where they were sheltered from other animals and cars.
We drove past the front paddock where there is sheep and baby lambs, they are all looking very healthy and ‘fresh’ is the terminology. Lambs when they are free range and grass-fed always look good. They have a thin coat of fat under their skin and they actually skip as they walk. This is a sure-fire way to know the flock of sheep have a balanced diet and not living under constant stress of being fenced in and fed with lots of grain. This look will appear on them in the markets, this brings a higher price and will also ensure the consumer gets high quality lamb. If you ever travel to a farm, one way you can pick this is the flock looks clean – no such thing as white wool / grey maybe due to environmental factors but more importantly around their rear end it does not look dirty from faeces or ‘dags’ as clumps of dried faeces can do. This can be – but not always a sign of worms and the flock will need to be treated. Treatment does not change the quantity and quality of the meat but left untreated the lambs will not look happy or healthy and the meat may be dark in colour.
To see flocks of lambs sitting in the sun and not eating means that they are well fed and relaxed. Ewes will only walk a short distance from their young unless disturbed which on farms can be by dogs / humans / horses and vehicles, which are all used to move them from one paddock to another. Our lambs are ready to go to market so we are hoping they will come to a store near you soon.