I bottle feed the lamb four times a day as the ewe isn't producing any milk. But the ewe is an excellent mother otherwise, and being together makes them both happy. I'm just the lady that holds the bottle.
They are the only pair left in the barn. I moved the 5 ewes and 9 lambs from our orchard to a bigger field with fresh grazing.
A majority of the ewes in my flock are now related to my horned ram, so I'm looking for a new ram, probably a polled (hornless) one with the right breeding. I still have Bertram the Friesian, but at the moment he is on thin ice with me.
Bertram likes the ladies. It doesn't matter if they're mine or my neighbours'. And Bertram, with his long dairy sheep legs, can jump a lot of the fences. I often get calls from the neighbours to say Bertram is visiting, wooing their sheep. Thankfully, all the ewes he's managed to reach have already been pregnant, and all my neighbours have seen the funny side of it. Probably because Bertram is very personable.
Bertram now waits for me to show up in the trailer with a bucket of grain to give him a lift home after his night out carousing.
I am literally an Uber for a sheep.
He recognises the Land Rover and wanders over. I get out and give him a pat, and usually some lame speech like "Where do you think you've been, You treat this house like a hotel", etc. Bertram doesn't even have the decency to look contrite. He just walks straight in the trailer and eats his breakfast.
The farmers don't bother to hide their laughter now. They are laughing down the phone when they call me to tell me Bertram's escaped again.
I've put him back in with the goats, where the fences are a bit higher and there are some of my ewes (already pregnant) to keep him happy. I love Bertram but he's an arse.
Dropped off in the goat paddock, striding out to see the ladies.
It was market day today, so I got up early and loaded up my last four castrated ram lambs to sell. I'm still very new to the workings of the market, but I'm of the "fake it til you make it" school, and I just get behind guys who look like they know what they're doing, and copy them.
Once unloaded, you make your way forward, towards the weigh scales, shutting the pens as you funnel forwards -
We're waiting our turn at the weigh scales - a big platform where an average weight of similar sized lambs is taken -
As you can see, I had one slightly smaller. They mark him with an "A" but sell him in the same pen. I don't know what the A stands for, but I will find out and let you know.
I got back from market and gathered 19 of my ewes that were "on tack" - winter grazing on a field used for cattle in spring - and gave them a quick health check, foot trim, and a dose of wormer based on the vet's advice.
The barn is so useful for basic sheep work.
They don't love it, but I think the ewes look way more appreciative of my help than Bertram does.
Once tended to, I loaded them up for the short journey to the new field shared with the mums and lambs.
The new trailer holds our whole flock - it's a double decker!
Now I get to tend to the really fun part: the paperwork.