Sunday, 20 March 2011

New hens and surprise lambs

I went and picked up the other 4 point of lay hens from a lady at Fylingdales early this morning and by the time I got home one of the hens had laid an egg in the box. I decided to put all the hens into their new house and run all at once and there seemed to be no problems. I think because they were all new together, no one feels as if it is their territory yet.I'd just given the new hens their evening treat of mixed corn and you can see how impressive the new Maran cockerel is. You can also see the cuckoo markings of the hens. When I went to shut them in at sunset they had all gone into their new home andwere rooting happily in the hen hut. They also laid a couple of eggs but I will see if I get any eggs tomorrow after the stress of moving to a new home.
Just after lunch Tim went out the check the ewes before we both went out to do some Mole gassing for a local farmer, when he noticed that Frea was on her own and something was hanging from her rear, we were instnatly worried as she was not due to lamb until Wednesday at the earliest and as this is her first lambing we were going to take no risk with her.
We got her into the barn and quickly penned her up. We didn't have to wait long before she started to strain and feet appeared, trouble was they didn't look right to Tim, I had a look and saw 4 feet, 2 back and 2 front feet. So I rang Pete, our local farmer friend, to find that he's gone shopping in Whitby for his mum! I then rang fellow smallholder Jayne, who is a brilliant with complicated lambings, who said she would be round in 10 minutes. Everyone seem to arrive at once, Pete followed by Jayne.
Pete had a look at Frea and found that the lamb was "presented" correctly, and it delivered quite easily, followed by a second lamb. Both were up and suckling in next to no time.
Here is Frea with her twin lambs, a gimmer and a tup lamb
As you can see they are good strong lambs and Frea is a very attentive mum. Their Dad was Tuppyman and like both their parents the lambs like their food.
We've given Frea a shot of antibiotics because Pete "intervened", just to be on the safe side. Needless to say we are very proud of Frea, she's produce a couple of cracking lambs despite the bad winter we've had.
1 ewe down 23 more to go!

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