Accurate record keeping is an essential part of owning cattle. Records must be kept of the following:
Each animal must have a passport which accompanies the animal on every movement throughout its life, with each movement being reported to Cattle Tracing Service within 3 days (www.bcms.gov.uk)
Beef animals must be tagged in both ears within 20 days of birth or before the animal leaves the holding. Ear tags can fall out and be lost, these must be replaced within 28 days after you notice them missing.
If it is the intention to keep large numbers of sheep it is advisable to have adequate and safe handling facilities. This allows the sheep to be easily inspected and treated regularly which is necessary for the well being of sheep.
All sheep born after the 1st January 2010 will have to be electronically tagged. The tag will contain the individual's animal number as well as the flock details. This is to make the movement of livestock quicker, safer and easier to trace, especially in times of disease outbreak.
Lambing can be one of the most stressful periods of the year, but at the same time it is probably the most rewarding. To see a ewe licking life into a newly born lamb never ceases to provide a thrill, even to the most experienced shepherds.
Pointers to be aware of as you approach the last six weeks before lambing:
The ewes and rams should be shorn in the late spring when the fear of frost has gone. This should be carried out by experienced shearers to avoid the skin being nicked or cut.
Shearing greatly reduces the risk of fly strike in the warm weather, which can be a significant cause of sheep mortality throughout the summer months.
If you provide your goats with the basic requirements of fresh air, dry housing, clean land, roughage, concentrates, fresh water and plenty of fuss and affection, they should pretty much take care of themselves.
There some requirements that you will need to undertake such as vaccinating, worming and foot trimming.