AgriShots: Bird's eye view of drafting lambs at weaning time

6 February 2024
Drafting sheep takes skill and teamwork. Pic: AgriShots
An article by  Al Mabin

It’s all hands on deck at weaning time. This is the time of year where your four legged companions become integral members of the team and extensions of your arms and legs as you round up rogue lambs that don’t want to play the game and follow the flock.

The first challenge is getting them to the yards! Navigating multiple gateways: “it’s all about balancing the mob with your dogs and motorbike and applying the perfect amount of pressure to steer them in the right direction and not have a blow out at a gateway”.

The shoulders relax a little once they are yarded and then the processing begins. From the sky, it’s like artwork and sheep are maneuvered through the yards. 

It can seem like a never ending process of drafting, drenching, vaccinating, back-lining and counting out. But it’s so satisfying working as a well oiled team, sharing some laughs, and seeing the results of last year’s breeding program come through, while not being able to hear yourself think over the noise of thousands of lambs calling out.

Then when you think it’s all done, you have to navigate said weaned lambs back to a paddock on their own without the ewes. This can be utter chaos without good dogs. 

Ewes are drifted down a lane in the opposite direction and are probably grateful they will get some peace and quiet for a few months before they start the process again. 


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