Wednesday, 1 February 2012

We went lambing.....

....and it was amazing!  It was at the farm we went pond dipping at last year.

It was a clear, bright, freezing cold morning.  We arrived a little late, so Freddie and Betsy got a ride to the barn on the back of the quad bike while I got Meg up in a wrap on my back.

A lamb was being born as I reached the barn.

Here it is, a minute or two later, sitting in the sun with its brother or sister.  It was steaming when it emerged, coming from a warm wet place into the cold morning.  Poor little mite!

10 minute or so later, we watched the newborn getting up onto unsteady legs, to take its first few steps.

The farmer showed us the colostrum, and how yellow it is compared to milk.

Another ewe was started delivering while we were still watching the first one.  Annie the farmer assisted the ewe, as the lamb was stuck with legs and head in a tricky position.

When the lambs are out, Annie gives them a big swing, to help clear the fluid and mucus from their airways. There is nothing gentle about this!

Then Annie pulled the twin out.  The ewe didn't make a sound during the whole process - I had thought the lambing shed would be very noisy but it was not at all.

After this we went over to see the lambs that are being bottle fed.  There are 3 so far, each one the 'spare' lamb from a set of triplets.  They're in a pen, with a heat lamp in the corner.

One was very young, not even 24 hours old.  He couldn't suck from a bottle yet, but needed colostrum so Annie tube fed him.  Freddie poured the colostrum (from a local dairy herd) into the tube bottle.

Almost no mention of Betsy and Meg in this visit.  That's because they pretty much moaned the whole time we were there!  It was very cold, Meg wanted to get down, Betsy got a bit overwhelmed.  Oh well, hopefully they'll enjoy it more next year.....

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