Without wanting to jinx things, I’d say spring 2018 has been our best lambing season ever. All our ewes have now lambed and all have been healthy births and escaped the jaws of the fox or claws of a buzzard. However last week we did have one casualty. Ebony, our newborn abandoned lamb of 4 years ago gave birth to twins. At first she seemed to take to the little girl and reject the boy. But within a couple of hours things had changed. They boy was in favour and the little girl, with newly docked tail and yellow spray markings had been pushed away. We placed Ebony and her twins in a small pen together in hope of a happy reunion and watched them carefully. However it soon became painfully clear the little girl’s life was in danger as Ebony repeatedly butted her away. We are never certain in this situation if the mother knows something we don’t in terms of the health of the rejected lamb, or if it is some form of emotional rejection. With no obvious birth defects showing, we took the only option available to try and save the abandoned lamb. Nick and I took a bottle to Ebony and expressed a good feed to start the lamb off and she spent the rest of the day safe, if lonely, in the warmth of our greenhouse.
Newborn abandoned lamb looking the spitting image of Ebony her Mother.
By the following day the little lamb was calling out for her bottle first thing and reluctantly taken to the special blend powdered milk in a bottle. This is always a big step with any abandoned lamb, but especially tricky in this case where she had been initially accepted by Mum. As the week progressed she has gained in strength and character and is now a highlight of the morning feed run here on the farm. The children love to feed her a bottle and have her join them on the tractor and trailer. In turn our little lamb, now named Lambo through our Facebook page, loves the affection and attention from the children.
First morning out on the farm ride to the delight of the children.
Children enjoying feeding Lambo her morning bottle.
When she is down to 2 feeds a day Lambo will moved over to join the ducks and chickens where she will have more animal contact yet be safe from the foxes and finally move in with the other sheep when she is fully fox proof in size.
“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.