Tuesday 5 May 2015

Lambing season closed

The last two lambs of the 2015 season #19 & #20 slipped from their mother-ship at 0635 and 0705 respectively!  We had visitors all day yesterday, expected and unexpected and I had three interesting encounters with walkers in the lane that runs through our steading to Mt Leinster, including two separate parties from Old Leighlin on the far side of Co Carlow (which is about 30km away, that's how small the county is).  Being busy with people didn't preclude being busy with sheep. as our expected visitors were there in the hope of having two sub-teen girls participate in a birth.  The youngsters spent the whole visit popping up from the kitchen table and running out to the field to see what had happened in the previous 8 minutes.  Something was happening for sure, even an ignoramus like me could see that one of the last three ewes to deliver was behaving strangely.  But eventually the girls had to go home.  The Beloved had a coup over the long weekend in that she managed to sell the second half of our baled haylage. Our neighbour got the contract to haul it offsite, which was nice because we knew he would be kind the the field with the heavy machinery.

As he was there, after the last few bales were loaded, he went round the field on a sheep-vulva inspection and decided a) that at least one of the sheep was indeed delivering but that b) nothing was happening so that c) human intervention was necessary. We drove the three into the haggard where he deftly caught the perp as she flew past him a metre off the ground, brought her to earth and after some push&pull brought out a mighty ram lamb.  The other singleton was relieved of a breech presenting ewe lamb which came to life after some slap& tickle, blowing in her ear and finally dunking head in a water-bucket.  Sufficient drama for the day and we were happy to be reassured (quick inspection of final vulva) that the last ewe, scanned as having twins, would be quiet for another day at least.  This did not stop us [force of habit over the last week] from getting up to the tunnel at 2300, 0150 and 0515 to see if everything was stable.  It looked like the process was in train on that final visit, so I had a cup of tea and a Blob-launch to let things develop. I went up again just in time to witness the second half of another bright yellow lamb arriving into the outside world - baby it's cold out there etc.

The 2015 lambing season is therefore declared closed.  The Lamlac, bought in anticipation of a season of bottle-feeding at least one orphan lamb, lies unopened in the feed-shed. A lot done - more to do.

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