Friday 11 April 2014

bleh bleh bleh

As of tea-time last night we are ten up on the lambs. After the first expected singleton on 4th April, we noted that our super-fertile ewe had dropped two lambs, whereas the man from Ultrasound had said that she was carrying three and so she had a 3 on her left haunch.  We left her to her own devices for a while and then called our neighbour, who brought her into the yard carrying the two deliveries.  Next thing I knew both man and ewe were on the ground and he was, not without difficulty, extracting the last lamb which had contrived to get his foreleg caught up behind his his head.  Huzzah.  Sex-ratio 2M:1F - muted hurrah.  The next evening just as it was getting dark we had another two and I had to carry them in, still wet and smoking, before it was too too dark to see: 2M:0F - dang!  The next night at the same last minute our least socialised ewe dropped her two and I brought them in as she skittered about the field being daft: 1M:1F.  We got everyone into the comfort of the polytunnel although it was full dark at the stage. In trying to settle the most recent mother in her own pen with her off-spring there was a sudden rush and the newborns were ridden-over by two of the other ewes. We were able to isolate the new family in their own en suite, but not before the mother attempted twice to leap out over the doors out of divilment.  We resolved to leave them to get acquainted because our presence was not inducing calm.  When I went up to check for new lambs just before first light the following morning, I noticed a white scruff in the straw and pulled out a dead lamb from the debacle of the previous night. Dang! And of course it was the ewe-lamb that had bought it - double dang!  So that left us with 1F:7M which is approaching a statistically significant departure from expected sex equality.

At tea-time yesterday at the very end of the field I saw first one and then another lamb dropped. 2F - loud cheers! It turned out that this was the mother with the duff udder, so we have started a regime of bottle feeding.  With our own childer, I was able to stand aside from that aspect of child-care because The Beloved supplied the milk. But I have some experience with bottle feeding lambs and was assigned the 0600 feed this morning, with TB doing 0200hrs. No hardship for me getting up with the birds - and it is literally with the birds at this time of year because they start their noisy territorial wrangling at about 5am.  The 2am report on the kitchen table said that another lamb (M) had arrived at 0226; and it was so!  Interim score 3F:8M.  I now smell of sheep and milk and must remember to change clothes before the last day of the teaching year.  I won't have to take a Knockdrinna cheese making course - just sit into our fridge and I'll soon have enough for a couple of sandwiches.

1 comment:

  1. lts a glamorous life you lead. Thanks for sharing. Makes my week seem tolerable in comparison.