The first lamb of the year came today - a week early and stillborn. A little ewe lamb.
This is not an auspicious start.
Mike has gone to see a neighboring farmer who's lambing out of season, like us, to see if he has any orphans I can foster on the mother. It's a grisly process that involves skinning the dead lamb and wrapping the orphan in the skin. The mother recognises the scent of her own lamb, and adopts the imposter. Like so many things, it sounds simple when you read about it in a book. But when Nature (with a capital 'N') and maternal hormones are involved, it's never so straightforward.
Worse, I'm not sure what's caused it. There are all sorts of bacterias that can cause late-term abortion in sheep. Or it could have just been a weak lamb, one of those things. I hope it's the latter as that's not contagious, and likely to affect an otherwise healthy flock.
I hope I have better news to report in the next post. I'll start my night checks from now on, in case I'm in for more troubled deliveries.