Spring has sprung. We are lambing. Well. Two ewes have lambed so there are still a lot more to go, but, it’s a start. Both ewes had stonking great singles so we are expecting more of the rest of the flock. Medium sized twins are the lambs of choice please Mums.
So with the ewes going into productive mode the yard opposite the farmhouse has been properly strawed out now and the ewes are coming home every night.
The nights are not cold but it is so much easier to fall out of the house and look round a yard with lights, than trail off into a field with a torch in the early hours.
Especially if one has lambed and then needs to be persuaded back home across the lane. My vote is the yard for maternity ward.
After the first night of lamb duty John realised that the bales need shuffling round more so that we would have a clear line of sight into the yard at night.
I thought I knew where every bantie and hen nest was. The barn had been thoroughly checked for feathered squatters
Not so. As the big bales were forklifted into new positions, eggs tumbled out of nooks and crannies and hens squawked their fury as they were ejected from their nests.
I had not got a clue there were so many broodies hiding in the barn. Unfortunately all the eggs were smashed but, if they had hatched out, we would have been overrun with chicks in a couple of weeks time.
Meanwhile as I write John has just come in for the keys for the Landrover to take the trailer over into the field and pick up a ewe that has lambed in the past hour and has twins.
We never used to keep the keys in the office but there have been that many thefts of Land Rovers, 4x4s, trailers and other agricultural desirables, that we take the keys out of the vehicles now so as not to tempt temptation.
We also have in the home paddock a very fat ewe hobbling around. She has sore feet.
John inspects the sheep’s hooves regularly when they are in the corral for routine maintenance such as clipping, worming or dagging out, but when they are in lamb, especially to the latter end of the gestation period, he handles the ewes as little as possible.
By bringing this particular ewe home he has saved her from being trailed back and forth to the field every day with the rest of the flock.
He has cleaned and pared around the perimeters of her hooves and dug out some pebbles that had got lodged in her foot.
But only minimal intervention. Now she has adopted the very comical position of sitting on her rump with just her two forelegs on the ground, for all the world as though she has sunk back into a comfy armchair.
None of that lounging around once her lambs have arrived. She should enjoy the rest while she can.