Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 6 - Lambing spring 2012

Today has been about 10 days rolled into one. It started by walking into the sheds whilst watching the sunrise over the Wittenham Clumps and opening up the doors to the sheds, which feels like opening the curtains! It couldn't have been more atmospheric for Clare who was being a shepherd for the day with us today alongwith Phil and Kinnon who had come back for a second time, it was lovely having them with us today.

It was a busy morning lambing. One lamb had been laid on in the night and another tiny lamb just was not strong enough to make it through either - really sad when we put so much time, energy and emotion into the lambs that need that extra bit of shepherding. We need to get better at remembering there is a barn full of bright, strong lambs doing really well and not just the small ones who we work so hard at keeping alive.

We moved our first group of Mum's and lambs outside which was amazing and a really fun job to do with our visitors. It is always chaos when you let them out of the trailer as they all try and find one another in a new environment and the Mum's are very distracted by the grass!

Our second move was with our ewes and lambs from January, we moved them down the road for the first time, great fun, but slightly high risk, but we managed with the help of a school group of 4 year olds who happened to be out on a trip to the woods, we got them to block off a gate way by all holding hands and giggling, where is the camerea when you need it!

A trip to the butchers was also squeezed in as Mark our neighbour from Dorchester is going to Wallingford market for us tomorrow morning and selling their beef too.

More shepherds for the day tomorrow, one job will be selecting lambs for the next few markets.
Our other job is to start getting the sheds ready for the lambing weekends, putting signs up and explaining everything that is going on to our visitors.

We plan to include a daily update of Henry, who was one of our first orphan lambs, who still hasn't lambed yet but we think it will be rather special when she does. Henry and Molly are great friends, mainly because Molly hands her some extra nuts to eat!

Roly has gone up for his final check and then Akash, one of our lovely vet students is doing the late check at about midnight.

More tomorrow, hopefully the sunshine will be as beautiful as it has been today.

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