On Friday we had our 50 ewes scanned who are due to lamb in mid January. David Greasby one of our farming neighbours had booked Kelly to come and scan his sheep and he kindly agreed to come and do our small group afterwards. This is going to be such a help as last year we had no idea how many the girls were having. So, 200%, pretty good! 7 are having triplets, 7 are having singles and 17 are having twins! The rest (18) should all be in lamb too but not due until March, so they have gone to join our main flock in Shillingford. A couple of months ago in the blog, we talked about how we had 'synchronised' this smaller January lambing flock to make sure they would all lamb over one or two days in January, to have got 31 out of the 50 in lamb is really good, so we are pleased! If we are going to do this again and wanted more in lamb, we would need to make sure we had more ewes to make sure we reached closer to 50.
Other exciting news is that we have made a few deliveries and taken a few orders through the online shop this week, see the photo above! People are excited to have local Oxfordshire lamb delivered straight to their door! We thought our boxes looked really smart being left for one customer.... People are booking up to be a shepherd for a day, particularly during lambing and the sheepskin rugs are proving to be popular Christmas presents! The Gary Smith Butchers in Wallingford are now also selling our lamb - photo of Terry above!.
It has turned particularly cold here this week, we are due for snow and it really feels like it. Being at the farmers markets this week has been quite chilly! The frosty mornings are so beautiful and we have a group of lambs on the Wittenham Clumps at the moment and it is a real treat checking them on such bright, crisp days. What the frosts do mean is that is that the grass now loses all its nutrition, so it will fill the sheeps tummies but there is no goodness in it. This is just at a time when the ewes need to start building up their nutrition to nourish the lambs inside them. So we will be bringing in the 31 ewes who are pregnant next week which is a special time. Making the sheds cosy again and hearing the ewes happily munching on the hay which we made back in the summer is so lovely.
Roly was on BBC Radio Oxford this week, speaking about some sheep worrying we have had and how particularly worrying this is at this time of year when the ewes are only just pregnant. We hope we haven't suffered any losses as a result. Thank you to everyone who does take notice of our signs and lets us know if they do see a dog worrying our girls.
December soon, we can hardly believe it! Not long now until we are going to be parents too!
Camilla, Roly, Boris and Belle