We started off with 65 Cheviot and Zwartble ewes in the old cattle shed, who were all expecting twins. There are now only 11 left to lamb. Having the ewes indoors means that you can check them late at night and pen up any who need a bit of attention and help. Once they are bonded to their lambs, the ewes and lambs are returned to the fields. This really helps, and all the lambs are given anti tick treatment. Most of the bird predation happens when the lambs are very newly born - if you watch a new born it can take a while before it is fully up on its feet and walking around, so allowing this to happen indoors gives them a good start. Obviously we can't do this with all 600 ewes, but it certainly helps with the twins.
On the hill the Blackface ewes are all expecting singles. Farmer goes out with the dog and walks to the main areas where the sheep tend to graze and lamb. Occasionally he has to catch and help a ewe with a stuck lamb but mostly they just get on with it by themselves.
Every day inevitably will have its ups and downs. You cannot be everywhere all at once, and it is the hardest part of being a Farmer when something goes wrong. Equally it is great when things go right!
As the lambs grow up they start to socialise and form gangs. It is lovely to watch them playing, almost like children. I have put a video up on Facebook of some Herdwick lambs doing what we call the 'jumpies'! They are very sweet.
Nyje has unfortunately hurt his leg so is off work. He was catching a ewe that needed help birthing her lamb, and clipped the top of a low wall with his leg/shoulder. Thankfully it isn't broken but he cannot put his full weight on it yet. This has meant that Walter is helping more, and managing to catch ewes when necessary.
These handsome Red Deer should not be here! Somehow they have got across the deer fence from the hill and are roaming the in-by now. They are beautiful to see though we are worrying about the young regenerating trees.
Waiting for the 'catch' command.
Taking a Herdwick with a surprise set of triplets back to the building. The lambs go in the feed bucket and the ewe stands beside them.
Lots of lambs in the Black Park, with Rum in the distance.
This one somehow got on the wrong side of the fence from its mum, and couldnt remember how it got there. Daughter caught it and returned it to the right side of the fence.
A handsome set of Blackface twins in the Haunn field.
A White tailed eagle being mobbed by a Raven in the Haunn field.
Crackaig. Looking towards Gometra and the Ross of Mull.
The last damp day was April 1st. We will have to start praying for rain soon, so the grass will grow!