We are lambing … again!!
Well they say that time flies and it certainly has for me, as I can’t quite believe that we have started lambing already! It seems only 5 minutes since The Beast from The East was making lambing 2018 hell; with no cold running water for 5 days, having to keep the flock in for fear of losing them under snow drifts and getting the pickup stuck on the drive!
So, in early autumn Rob came out with his classic line,
“I’ve been thinking” (insert a groan and eye roll from me!).”Let’s lamb a month later this time (so the end of April) when the sun is shining, we can lamb in t-shirts and there is lots of spring grass for the ewes to enjoy”.
This idea of no snow, being potentially able to lamb outside and the abundance of green grass made it a no brainer, so Bernard and Basil (our two Texel tups) got a longer summer break and did not go in with our lovely ladies until the 16th November.
The Boys, Basil & Bernard
Now, I should really say that we started lambing in December, the 21st to be precise! 😉
During the summer we had Rob’s brother’s Zwartble tup here to stay with Bernard and Basil for a summer break, and man can he jump! Straight in with our ewes, who at that point had just had their lambs weaned off and were enjoying the freedom!
He was only in a couple of days because he took so long to catch, but that was all he needed! As when I was checking the ewes, I was pleasantly surprised to find one of them had lambed a beautiful set of black twins! Cheeky tup (and ewe)!
Look at them now! They’re massive! Zwartble cross lambs
Not everyone has their sheep scanned prior to lambing, but we like to know exactly which sheep are having singles, twins, triplets, quads or are geld (having none). This is so useful as we can then sort off those sheep having multiples so they can be given extra feed to meet the demands of having more than one lamb.
A lovely gentleman called Roger Hards comes to do the scanning, who has always scanned our flock and is very accurate. This year he was deep in thought looking at his ultrasound screen and asked me to double check the dates I had given him with regards to when the tups went in and came out. So I duly did and he said “well this one is at least 3 if not 4 weeks ahead of that”.
How on earth has that happened?
Have the tups cheekily escaped in with the ewes? No, the ewes were 2 miles away via road and I would have noticed if the boys had been missing. So Rob & I have chewed over 2 theories :
- Unfortunately one weekend, some people walking had left a gate of ours open and the ewes had gone tootling down the road, jumped over a cattle grid (I’m sure they were invented to stop livestock!) and in with our neighbours’ flock who could have had the tup running with their ewes already. This is the likeliest explanation
- A tup from the moor which runs in line with our fields has nipped in for occasional conjugal visits!
So wham bam and here we are! We have just finished lambing the 21 ewes who have been served by, from the looks of the lambs, a Swaledale tup (poor Bernard and Basil didn’t even get a look in!). And this lovely spring weather means that we can get all of these new additions into the field to get some sun on their backs and some grass into the ewes bellies!
Keep following the Farm Adventure Facebook and Instagram pages to catch up with Part Two of my blog and pictures/videos as Lambing 2019 unfolds with the main flock starting in a couple of weeks.……..