Our lambing has been going beautifully this year. twins, and singleton and then last week two more twins with the other pregnant mothers looking in tip top condition.
Not an Everyday Event
The last set of twins arrived during the feed run to the delight of our guests. One had just been born before we arrived so Farmer Nick decided to move Mum and lamb straight away into the nursery but leave tagging till the following day as she was clearly just minutes old. The guests duly followed as Nick tucked the lamb under his arm and began to lead Mum towards the gate. There followed an anxious *stop” from the guests as she popped a little boy out mid journey! You don’t witness that every day and Nick decided best to leave them after all and move them later in the day.
We kept a careful eye on them over the next few hours and watched as both fed and appeared to be fine. They had claimed a field shelter to themselves and all looked well.
We moved them to the nursery that evening so as to be with the other Mums and lambs and clear of any fox danger, however by morning Nick was beginning to worry. This was the same sheep that had given birth and walked away last year without so much as cleaning her lamb. The little girl was bleating outside the shelter while the boy was safe with Mum. Nick continued the feed run keeping an eye out but by the end it was clear that Mum had left her little girl deliberately. When the lamb tried to nuzzle up to her Mum she was harshly shoved away. There was nothing for it but to scoop her up and bring her indoors. Shivering and frightened we made her a bed by the boiler and gave her a first colosterum which she guzzled enthusiastically having no trouble mastering the bottle.
A Surrogate Family
By the time the children came home from school she was warm and fed and delighted to play. She enjoyed an evening being cuddled, playing on the lawn and finally put to bed by the boiler with a final feed before my night shift began.
The children were up early to tend to her before school. I’m sure they smelt of lamb all day long! Our little bundle of joy came out on the feed run to the delight of the guests who were thrilled to see her doing well and excited to help feed her.
While we fed the other animals we popped her back in the nursery. She headed straight for Mum who still wouldn’t let her close, the other Mums equally shunned her and only her brother responded to her plaintive bleating and came over for a reassuring word.
Adored by Us
One day she will be out in the field with them all, but for now while she is still tiny and without a Mother’s love she will just visit on the feed run and remain inside with us at night and play in our greenhouse with the children by day. I knew I was late planting it again for a good reason!
Since she has become a part of the family we have named her too. Thank you to all on facebook for the wonderful suggestions. Farmer Nick and the children have chosen Ebony as she is black all over except for the tip of her head and tail.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.