Everything feels very strange right now. The new isolation measures we’re living in to manage Covid 19 are unprecedented. I’m feeling extra grateful that I’m in the countryside and able to spend time with the animals outside. And the last two days have been filled with glorious sunshine. I find it easier to deal with anxiety when the day is so warm and bright. As of next week I’ll be working from home and I’ve never done that so here’s hoping I don’t get distracted (too much).
Cicero the ram has been in with the ewes, Murdock and Skittles for several weeks now. Suffice it to say we were expecting lambs – but not quite yet. After work on Wednesday 11th, Oscy and I made our way across the field with the 6 youngsters up towards the yard to give Kiwi his dinner. As I opened the gate to the second field I saw a tiny black and white bundle next to one of the ewes. She stood up, and another one was laid down behind her.
Last year, both ewes gave birth in DIY lamb sheds prepared for them. One box was made of metal railings and a wooden plywood roof. The other was an old Wendy house complete with chimney and opening window. As entertaining as this shed was, it wasn’t practical. The ewes both had twins and were too big to fit comfortably inside the Wendy house with their lambs. We had to distract Mum and carefully remove each lamb from her in order to check them. No-one enjoyed this process, not the ewe and not the person who got stuck halfway through the plastic window between the new Mum and her precious baby.
Both ewes; Skittles and Murdock, did a wonderful job last year – raising a pair of twins each, that are now enjoying life with their older half siblings in the youngsters field.
We hadn’t made preparations for lambing this year as these two new arrivals caught us by surprise. Skittles is the more nervous of the two ewes (she’s had her lambs) and doesn’t like people. Murdock and Cicero will come over to me for a chin scratch and come quite fast if I have food. But Skittles has always been skittish! She is doing a fantastic job mothering her lambs though. They are now a week and a half old and getting more adorable by the day. She stays close to them when I walk through the field but she’s happy to let them wander near her when the coast is clear and today I got about 5m from them and took some photos. At this point she decided I was not trustworthy and ushered them away.
Murdock is ready to have her lambs very soon…
Murdock is enormous and I think will have her lambs sometime next week. She totters from side to side when she comes over to say hi to me. It won’t be long before we get to meet her new smalls.