As its November our ewes are on the lookout for a for a handsome tup (ram). Our four tups are currently in the fields to mate with our 100+ ewes.
After the first week, the tups wear a keel marker on their chest which leaves a mark on the ewe when mated. The colour in the keel is different each week, the first week no colour, blue the second and third red and so on. This way we know which ewes have been mated and can be fairly accurate when are lambs are due.
The tups are in with the ewes for about four weeks, but with that many ewes thereʼs not much romance involved - itʼs hard work for them! The tups are then taken out to have a well-earned rest for eleven months.
A ewe's gestation period is five months so the tupping is carefully planned for the new lambs to be born in the spring. In January we scan the pregnant ewes to see how many we can expect and alter feed requirements for those expecting multiple lambs to make sure they receive supplementary nutrition.
According to Chambers dictionary, silage is defined as:
Animal fodder made from forage crops such as grass, maize, etc which are compressed and then preserved by controlled fermentation, eg in a silo.
We’ve been busy cutting grass recently on the Wester Kittochside farm ahead of the coming season to feed our livestock. The grass is the cheapest source of food for livestock and is the best way to offer them the base of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals they require throughout the winter months.
*** Prize Draw now closed ***
Thank you for all the name suggestions in our #NameOurCoo prize draw.
The top two names were voted for in poll by our social media followers and the winner is Myrtle.
Myrtle has been painted in the characteristic red and white markings of our award-winning Ayrshire herd. Originating in south-west Scotland, the Ayrshire breed was first recorded on an official basis in the 1870s by the Ayrshire Cattle Society.
Ayrshire cattle fact file
Try out milking on our model Ayrshire cow next time you visit the National Museum of Rural Life and join us for our afternoon milking session at 3 pm from the viewing platform in the milking byre.
Sooty is our resident moggy. Join her this summer for an insider’s view of life on the farm past and present at the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride.
Let Sooty guide you to find out what life was like on the 1950s farm, discover the tractors inside the museum, and follow the path to the farm, and meet our Ayrshire, Aberdeen Angus and Highland cattle, and the Tamworth pigs, sheep, hens and Clydesdale horses.
Our Country Fair took place on 10 June. Alongside ferret racing, birds of prey and a gun dog display, visitors could see a sheep shearing demonstration, as all our hoggs were clipped. Come along to our Heavy Horse Show on 15 July to see our remaining ewes being clipped.
You can see more photos from our Country Fair here.
We were delighted by the success of the National Museum of Rural Life's Kittochside herd at the Royal Highland Show this year, with Kittochside Triclo Napier placed 2nd and Kittochside Prodigy Daisy placed 4th in the Heifer class.
As spring is now officially here and we're delighted to see the arrival of our first lambs for 2018.
Contact with sheep during lambing time can pose a health risk to pregnant women. If you are pregnant, or suspect you might be, please read the following NHS Guidelines before visiting the Museum.
Spring is in the air and our snowdrops are now in full bloom on in the kitchen garden at the Wester Kittochside farmhouse kitchen garden. Take the 10-minute walk from the museum to the farm or take the Farm Explorer tractor trailer to see for yourself.
Welcome to the new season at National Museum of Rural Life! We have been experiencing some really wintry conditions on the Wester Kittochside Farm but spring is finally in the air. The first of our calves has arrived, Joy, a Jersey heifer born on 14 January, and our resident farm cat Sooty has been out and about exploring in the snow.
Header image: Fading autumn colours on the Wester Kittochside farm at the National Museum of Rural Life, November 2018.
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National Museum of Rural Life