Saturday, 11 April 2015

The End is Nigh

In the past 36 hours I think the ewes have lambed every few hours without much break in between. It's all I can do to process each delivery, like some manic disorganised lambing wholesaler. Pen, squirt, squirt, dip, jab, worm, spray, water, mark. Exhale. NEXT!

Not all the deliveries were straightforward but we didn't lose any. In fact we gained one: the scanner told me Matilda was having twins, which she deftly produced, then a few hours later on night check Mike found a third. So triplets for her. Or, realistically, another bottle-fed baby for the kennels.

Of course the bottle fed lambs are in the kennels, between the spaniels and the feed storage. (Turkeys are still in the end kennel). The sheep trailer still acts as bad weather shelter when it's not transporting moms and new lambs from field to orchard.

So, there would be more pictures but I could hardly keep up with the actual work, and there are no documentary photographers locally to help out. Mike is up to his ears in pheasants' eggs and moving the rearing sheds to fresh ground. Good weather means cramming in as much work in as possible, For the expectant ewes as well!

newly delivered, pre processing!

There are only 3 ewes left to lamb: 2 singles and a triplet. Then I'll start grading out the oldest lambs to move to new fields (and new grass) with moms.

2841 - my triple still waiting to lamb and in no hurry at all!

I won't mind a spot of rain when lambing's over. Not only will it slow my work load a bit, but it will wash the sheep shit into the orchard soil. Shit has become a hazard when hanging out laundry or walking in crocs. Still, walking in sheep shit, then walking on loose straw and gravel paths has given me an insight into why wattle and daub building techniques were in use for nearly 6,000 years. That is some durable composite material! I should build them a sheep shed out of their own poo and straw.


Hazel said...

I think a wattle and daub sheep shed is an excellent idea- you can throw one together when you have a spare half an hour ;-)

Well done Matilda! Or perhaps not, when it means another lamb to be fed...

I'm sure I've asked you before, but you don't foster the third lamb onto a mother of a single? The school farm my son helps on does (so on Open Days they constantly have to explain why the sheep has her head through that piece of wood) and so does my friend up the road, though her sister with 1000 sheep routinely bottle feeds every third lamb...

Seester said...

Ewe 2841 looks like one of those poor animals from an exposé show on obese pets. Like a 120 lb beagle that can barely waddle its fat butt to the food bowl. And the owners are like, "He's a little pudgy but he's fine! He's totally happy!"