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Early Lambing Season Summary

A sheepy summary of the early lambing season of 2010. Three sheep took part! *clip*

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We had three sheep due to lamb in January / February 2010 and all three have now had lambs. We were unsure of their precise due dates but we were fortunate enough that they chose to lamb in a little bit of a window of the snowy and cold weather!

The first two sheep both had twins and were very straight forward births. The third sheep seemed to go on and on, getting fatter and fatter without giving birth. By the time it decided to start lambing its bag was nearly the size of a dairy cow's!

The third sheep finally decided to lamb last Sunday and we were a bit concerned as this sheep (it has a mottled face) was one of the sheep that rejected its lambs last year. Under normal circumstances this behaviour would have resulted in the sheep being sent "down the road" to market but as this particular sheep was very good natured and very easy to handle, and as we are all softies, we decided to give it a second chance this year. It was its first year giving birth last year and this often causes complications.

Anyway, this third sheep started to give birth on Sunday. It had one and it was looking promising: the sheep was licking its lambs and we left them to it for a while. It then had another, with some assistance from Howard and Lynda, as the second was in breach position. It had been in the passage way for some time because of this and there was evidence of "stress" when it finally emerged into the outside world... Howard and Lynda explain what this means in the clip!

When it finally emerged, the mother was still licking the first born so this was a good sign. During an interlude on a game of Scrabble, Lynda went out to check on them and came back in saying that the sheep had started barging and stamping on one of its lambs again so we were all disappointed that it was repeating its stupid behaviour from last year. This is very frustrating because the sheep is so good natured and extra special care was taken so as not to transfer any foreign smells onto the newborn lambs. Despite all this, the sheep was rejecting its lamb.

This was not good news as we do not have the capacity to be able to bottle feed any early lambs so the only options were to a) get the sheep to accept its lambs, b) hold the sheep and put the lamb to the bag manually, or c) call the lamb bank!

We tried to get the sheep to accept its lamb by covering the rejected lamb in the afterbirth in an attempt to remove any foreign smells and restore its original smell. As you can see in the clip, that afterbirth didn't last very long though...! So the next option was to have someone hold the sheep while the lamb is held to the bag so that it can drink without being bashed off by its mother....

Fortunately, this seems to be working. The lambs are both getting milk and it is looking a bit more promising....

Also in the clip are some pictures of Harry and LLoyd - the spare lambs from last year as well as Marion and Ranvir, the hens and some footage of a fallen down wall!

Comments

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What good news! Glad that yow has finally got it figured out - that both lambs need to be fed and nurtured. This is a lovely video. Thanks for posting it, Dan! I lvoe the nibbling at he red jacket!!

for " Saturday"..read "Sunday" lol [edit]Updated - I meant to say Sunday don't know why I said Saturday!, Thanksss mum[/edit]

Thanks for the clip. How lovely to see lambs, snowdrops, and life on the farm. I hope both lambs continue to get milk and care from their mother.

And the shots of the snowdrops are really lovely to see - gives me hope that sprng might arrive after all! Thanks for showing the live birth of the last lamb.

Thanks for the clip of the birth of the last lamb and for the shots of the lambs in the field. So good to see Ranvir and her friend Marion and what a mass of snowdrops you have .. A lovely clip... thanks

Oh yuk! Real muck and bullets stuff. The resulting lambs are so cute though!

Did Ranvir have lambs?

Oh, Dan, thanks so much for posting this! I can't wait for the rest of the lambs to come.

Beautiful clear shots of the lambs. Lovely I understand now how a worrying business the lambing season is...

What a wonderful clip. I see you need a lot a patience to be a farmer. Is a great insight to part of your life. Thank you

Having now watched the clip I see Ranvir has not had lambs yet. Looking forward to seeing her lambs in April

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with everyone! It is most enjoyable to follow the happenings!

What is a lamb bank, and where can I make a withdrawal?! They are so cute! Is it possible to adopt lambs who have been rejected?

Hi Wendy - a lamb bank is a service for farmers where they take any excess lambs they have and those who need lambs can get them. im not sure if you can make a withdrawral ! best thin to do is check with your local lamb bank on the high street , seriously though, i am sure if you do some "googling" you will be able to find out some info.

how about more poetry from howard