The arrival of store lambs on the farm is always a good indication that winter is just around the corner.

I have a man buying for me for the past couple of weeks and I currently a small batch of nice ewe lambs gathered up, with maybe one ram stuck in the middle of it for good measure. Maybe I’ll take a mad notion and go back into the lambing game!

Somehow, I can’t see that happening and, even if I were to dip my toe back into those cold waters, I don’t think a batch of ewe lambs and a cross-bred ram lamb would be a good starting point.

Lambs are a very good trade which of course is not very good for me. This is my fourth year back buying lambs and every year they seem to get more expensive to buy.

If you buy lambs too dear you mightn’t make any money, but if you don’t buy lambs, you definitely won’t make any money

I know the quality of lambs I bought last year were superior to the two previous years and warranted a higher price but this year they are just more expensive. But, as a wise man once told me: “If you buy lambs too dear you mightn’t make any money, but if you don’t buy lambs, you definitely won’t make any money.” Good enough advice I always thought.

Anything coming through the gate is getting a worm drench and a mineral drench but I must sit down and work out a health plan for them because every year so far, I’ve made mistakes.

The first year lambs were dosed for worms and weren’t dosed early enough for fluke, which resulted in me losing one. The second year seemed to go relatively problem-free with regard to health issues.

Then last year everything was well dosed for fluke and worms and also received a few mineral drenches, but they weren’t treated for external parasites. They weren’t treated for external parasites the two years previous either and were without issue, but last year lambs were starting to scratch coming into early spring.

So, this year I want to try and learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones again.


Another decision I need to make is whether or not to vaccinate them for clostridial disease.

I know some seasoned sheep farmers would say that I’d be mad not to and they are probably right but out of the three years so far that I’ve bought store lambs I’ve vaccinated them once and seem have gotten away OK.

I know that’s probably just down to dumb luck and now that I’ve spoken about it, I’m bound to jinx myself if I don’t vaccinate them! I’ll wait until I have everything bought that I intend to buy and then make those decisions.