When we bought our extra acres last year, we bought two 3.5 acre fields, one field was very easy to sort out – put a fence all the way around it, put up a couple of field shelters and create a catch area, and this field is now home to our 6 boy llamas – soon to be 8, when the two youngsters leave their mums to join them!
The other field however was awkward – the previous owner had planted an awful lot of trees in their – deciduous trees in the top half and apple trees in the bottom half. It seemed such a shame to lose all of them – as the llamas would slowly but surely just eat them, strip the bark off and kill them, so we decided to create a small orchard paddock, about an acre in size to protect some of the apple trees, and also a small half acre paddock to protect some of the bigger deciduous trees. The rest we would let the llamas have.
The problem with this idea was that we would have two small paddocks that would need the grass looking after, or we could put some sheep in to graze it.
We have plenty of neighbours who would have lent us a few sheep, but why not have a go at getting some of our own. We decided, mainly because they are cheaper, to get some tame lambs, these lambs start out in life as either orphans or a small triplet that would be able to fend for itself, and are too much aggravation for for the farmer and he is happy to sell them for a small fee, so that is what we did.
We signed up to the Devon Association of Smallholders (DASH) Lamb Bank initiative and when 3 young lambs became available we popped over to the farm and heh presto, we came back with 4 young lambs. Two of them were about a week old and two were less than a day old – this was Tuesday of this week just gone and all of them seem to be doing very well!
They are currently sharing a small pen inside our workshop and have our goats as neighbours. On Monday they will start to get used to the outside world where they will have a shelter and a bit of outside space, and within 5-6 weeks they should be big enough to take down to the paddock.
Pictures will follow!