It All Kicks Off

We are due to start lambing tomorrow. However, we have had a few little early surprises.

On Wednesday morning this little lady had already made her entrance into the world by the time we got the the field.

This might look like a pretty tiny, cute thing but it is a huge thing for us. She is our first ever lamb. The past 10 months of spending what feels like shedloads of money, spending time working with the ewes and on 2 occasions watching them die and being unable to do anything all boils down to this. We finally have something to show for it all. Mr Scatterbrain has announced that we are keeping her. Luckily, being a she, she has a long future ahead of her but I think she will always have a special place for us.

The next morning we came out to this –

Even more of a surprise, triplets! They are 2 days old now and doing really well, their mum is looking after them perfectly and thankfully has enough milk for them all. Triplets generally aren’t good news for shepherds as sheep are really only designed to rear 2 lambs, but on this occasion I think we’ll be able to leave them all with their mother. We are keeping a pretty close eye on them to make sure they stay strong and well-fed and if it becomes necessary we will hand-rear one, but mum’s always best.

This is always my favourite time of year, the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, the sky is blue and the grass green, and everywhere you look there is new life. After many months of seeing dry, brown, skeletal hedges along every roadside, it is a welcome sight to see them filling out with fresh green buds. The birds sing as they nest, the lambs play in the fields and the first few cows are being turned out to graze. After surviving a cold, wet, muddy winter, this feels like the reward for hanging on. It makes me glad to be a country girl.

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Birthday Thoughts

So this morning, after a few hours milking in the cold, I’m in the process of lambing a ewe. I had already removed 2 lambs from her, and was fishing about for the third. It was way, way deep inside, kind of laying on it’s back, with it’s head flopping back towards the ewe’s head. Every time I grabbed a hold of a nose or hoof, it would jerk it back like it was quite happy in there thank you very much, don’t want to come out of my nice, warm, floaty bed. Just like me several hours earlier. I was shoulder deep in the ewe, with my head resting perilously close to her back end, so close in fact, that I could clearly hear her pelvis creaking and cracking in my ear. One of her already born lambs flapped it’s ears like a dog, splattering my face with slime. At this point I thought to myself, ‘Happy Birthday!’ with not just a little sarcasm.