Saturday 26 April 2008

Spotty lamb for Beatrix

After we had fed the ewes and lambs this evening, we did our usual walk round to check on everyone and despite a lot of the lambs looking the same, you very quickly notice one that looks differently, especially one as spotted as this little one is. Beatrix had given birth today, to a little ewe lamb, she certainly is a pretty little one. Looks like a "spotty dog". We decided to leave them both outside as the lamb had a full tummy and Beatrix is obviously looking after her so well.
Brazil and her ram lamb are back in the barn again tonight. Tim noticed that the lamb was limping badly again, so he's back on a course of antibiotics. This time he will stay in the barn until he's walking properly for a couple of days before he's back outside, so rather than have he and his mum in the usual sized pen, we've opened 3 pens so he's got plenty of space to try and run around in.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Early morning lambs

Abbi had her twins this morning, a ewe and tup lamb, as you can see one is having a good drink.
With Abbi giving birth sees the end of the main rush of lambs born. There is still Beatrix to have her lamb which is due on the 29th April, then there is another lull until the 10th May.
Brazil and her lamb have gone out today, he's loads better, jumping on all 4's as a new lamb should do. Also Cassie went out this morning, the forecast was good and the best place for any new lamb is out in the fresh air.
The total so far on lambs is 33 (17 tups, 16 ewes) from 20 ewes

Tuesday 22 April 2008

May has a beautiful ewe lamb

Doing the usually early morning check revealed that May had given birth to this little ewe, we thought she would give birth soon when be brought her in last night.
Because of May's pedigree status means that this little ewe is eligible for full pedigree registration status, so depending on how she developes we will probably keep her to improve the pedigree status of our Shetland flock.

Monday 21 April 2008

Cassie has a cracking ram lamb

Cassie needed some assistance to deliver her son. His feet were in the right place, but his head was twisted to one side. When he finally came into the world his body was all twisted round, so a quick untwist and he was fine and as you can see from the picture he's a fine looking ram lamb.
Abby and May have been brought into the lambing pens as they are both due on the 23rd. So the barn is full again.
As I mentioned in a earlier blog Brazil and her son are in a pen as he has joint ill. It's an infection that some lambs can get through their umbilical cord which causes the leg joints to swell. It takes a course of antibiotics to clear it up and today he was running round the pen, still limping on his leg, but using it again and trying to jump, as all lambs do. We recon another dose of antibiotics tomorrow night and he will be fully recovered, and as usual I got in touch with my friendly homeopathic supplier for some medication to aid the antibiotics.

Sunday 20 April 2008

Hedge laying weekend and more lambs

Yesterday we had a day's hedge laying with the hedge laying Hollands, and fwe finished the hedge between us and common land, and I have to say it looks really good and neat. So hopefully over the coming years it will re-sprout and grow into a really thick hedge that the sheep can use for protection against the elements.
7 lambs have been born this week from 4 ewes and the running total is now 29 lambs, 14 ewes, 15 tups (ram) lambs and this coming week should see the end of the majority of lambs to be born, with the 3 Wiltshire Horn ewes are due the middle of May. A little late for us, but they are only young.
We have decided that the current lambing barn is too small and if we can widen it by another 7ft, we can add another run of 5 lambing pens so that if we have a lot of ewes due at the same time and the weather turns nasty, we've got the space to keep everyone inside. But before we can do that it will mean talking to the National Parks Planning department and submitting new plans!!!!!!!!!!!! More paperwork.
On the subject of paperwork. Our single farm supplement paperwork arrived last week. It's mostly pre-populated, but it's still to be checked, signed and copied before sending back to Defra. We've also got the Common Land registration paperwork to sort out, so that on the Common Land register it shows our name against Meadowcroft Farm. To which we've been to see the solicitor, got the paperwork sworn and signed, now all that is needed is some papers from the land registry to prove transfer of ownership, which in turn should prove ownership of the mineral rights associated with our property and then we can talk to Cleveland Potash company about the lease and rental for the minerals etc. All very involved and complicated, but hopefully I can get it sorted out this year!!!!!!
Just occasionally a boring life would be wonderful................

Cicely has twins but rejects one

When Tim went into the barn this morning, he initially thought that Cicely had just had one lamb, until we were both stood in the barn watching the sheep and lambs as we do, when Tim noticed a lamb trying to sneak some milk from another ewe. When he picked it up, the lamb and it's umbilical cord was still damp. So it was a new lamb and it could only be Cicely's. When we put this lamb back into the pen, Cicely initially took to the lamb, but then started to butt her out of the way. So we've borrowed a "lamb adopter" to put Cicely in.
The lamb adopter holds the ewe's head so that she can't butt the lambs, but they can still drink from her. Cicely can get to her water and feed, stand and sit, but not move from side to side. It looks a bit weird, but works and as the lamb is hers we should only have to keep her in the "adopter" for a couple of days and then everything should be O.K . But another ewe and tup lamb. The lamb in the picture with the purple spot is the ewe lamb that Cicely has rejected.

Carolyn sheep has her lambs in secret

Carolyn didn't appear for the morning feed and when we looked round the fields initially we thought that the little lambs that were in the field were Cloe's, but when she bleated for her lambs and they came running from the barn we realised that the lambs were in actually fact Carolyn's. We brought them into the barn for a quick check over and to ensure that they had a full stomach, which they did, so after a couple of hours in the barn we let the new family out again. We think she had her lambs yesterday, but we were so busy with hedge laying that we'd missed she hadn't come down for the evening feed. Thankfully there were no problems. Another ewe and tup lamb, both beautifully marked. Hector has produced some really good lambs this year.

Friday 18 April 2008

2 days late but a lovely little ewe for Berniece

Tim had finished the feeding, given everyone hay, checked one more time on Berniece, she was showing no signs of giving birth, so he went into Whitby to get some bits and pieces, was out less than an hour and he came back to find that Berniece had given birth to a little ewe lamb.
If Hector passes his inspection by the Shetland Sheep Society later this year, this little ewe will be eligible for full pedigree registration.
Cicely is now in the barn she is due on Sunday and with Brazil and her poorly lamb, the barn is getting full again. Lilly and her lambs went our yesterday.

Monday 14 April 2008

Lilly delivers at last

Lilly missed the morning feed and Tim found her in the pig arc with her twins, a ewe and ram lamb. As I was back at work, he put a hurdle across the entrance to the arc to keep Lilly and her lambs inside.
When I came home we moved this new family into the barn, we also put Berniece into the next door pen not only as company for Lilly, but she is the next ewe due.

Sunday 13 April 2008

An empty barn

The forecast for today was fine so we decided that all the mums and lambs that were in the barn, should go out into the field along with Lilly, who is still showing no signs of giving up her lamb(s). So this has given us the opportunity to put down clean straw in all the lambing pens and the barn, so everything is ready for the next wave of lambs due between the 19th and 23rd.
It seems strange but we are not halfway through lambing and I've already put adverts together for any lambs and meat we will have for sale later in the year for the shows that the North Yorkshire Smallholders will be attending.
As the weather has been so pleasant today I managed to get some veg planted in my veg garden. Red onion sets, parsnips and beetroot. I also sowed some leek seeds into potting compost though I will need some more potting compost for the sweetcorn seeds.
It's only a short post today as most of what has happened over the past week have been the 11 lambs that have been born.
The tally so far is 22 lambs from 12 ewes, all the lambs are full of life and so far we are not disappointed with what has been born.
Next ewe to lamb is Berniece on the 16th.......

Saturday 12 April 2008

Early morning arrivals

When we did the early morning check today, we found that Layla had given birth to a beautiful set of twins, a ewe and ram lamb.
The ewe lamb is the grey/brown little lamb where as the ram is all black.
Tomorrow we are going to let Carmen, Amber and Layla with their lambs, out of their pens, it's supposed to be a fine day and we will need the pens towards the end of the week when we should have another rush on ewes giving birth.
The next ewe due is Berniece, on the 16th, and of course Lilly who is holding onto her lamb(s)!!!!!

Friday 11 April 2008

Late night arrivals

Doing the last check of the night last night, we discovered that Amber had given birth to twins a ewe and ram lamb.
We suspected that she may be ready to give birth as she was missing from the evening feeding line up. A walk round the fields saw her pacing in the corner of a field, so brought her into the barn just in case, and I'm glad we did.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Carmen delivers her lambs in the field and barn!!!!

When we went to feed this evening, Carmen didn't come into the barn, which is unusual. A look up the field revealed that she had given birth. So I walked up the field so that I could bring her and her lamb into the barn, but when I got to her it became apparent that she was going to have another lamb. Tim arrived and we stood and waited for about 5 minutes. Nothing happened so we decided that we would have to assist the delivery of the 2nd lamb. But Carmen had other ideas and ran off, leaving her lamb!!! I picked the lamb up, put it in the middle of the field, Carmen ran to it then past it and on into the barn. I picked up the lamb ran after her whilst Tim followed Carmen in to the barn. The first lamb was put into a lambing pen, closely followed by her mother. We then waited, and waited. Several minutes passed and it became apparent that the second lamb was still in the same position. It's toes just pointing out. So I held Carmen down whilst Tim very gently pulled at the lamb's toes, just enough that Carmen's contractions started again and he could pull the lamb out. The second lamb arrived within 30 seconds and it was alive. But Carmen wouldn't have anything to do with it.So we picked up the first lamb, put the second one in front of her and she started cleaning it up. Within 15 minuets it was up and attempting to get a drink. So all's well, but it was an eventful hour or so.
Carmen's first lamb to be born was a ewe, the second was a ram lamb.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Our first set of triplets

Late this afternoon Ariadne gave birth to a set of triplets, all ram lambs, without any problems and it appears that she is able to feed them all herself, but we will keep a careful check on them over the next couple of days. So they will be in the barn longer than normal.
Lilly has still not given birth!!!!
Missy, Anya and Brazil all went out this morning with their lambs and have spent a day in the sunshine.

Monday 7 April 2008

There are times when things get on top of you!!!!

Or in Brazil's case, her young son. All of Brazil's lambs have stood on her from a very early age and this young man is no different. She will be more than delighted to be out in the fields tomorrow so that this little man can run some of his energy off.

Two sets of Twins

Anya with her twin lambs, one ewe and one ram lamb. They were born late last night with no problems this time. Last year Anya had twins, but the little ram lamb (Dougal) ended up in the main barn and so she abandoned him. We ended up bottle feeding him.

In contrast these two are very bonded to mum.

Missy the Masham had her two little ewe lambs early this morning.
It's a great sight on a morning to see newly born healthy lambs.
According to the weather forecast it is to be fine tomorrow, so Anya, Missy and Brazil and their respective lambs will be let out into the main barn the the great outside

Sunday 6 April 2008

A hectic week with the Hobbits and lambs

The hobbits went home on Friday lunch time and despite their young age, they have been a great help with the lambs and helping "doing jobs", especially when it involves using the tractor. We both enjoy having them to stay, but by the end of the week we are both shattered and on Friday afternoon we both though we had gone deaf!!! Holly and Deefa are missing them, they keep going into the spare room to see where they are!!!
As you will have read on previous blogs, to date we've had 9 lambs from 7 ewes, and apart from Brazil requiring a little bit of assistance all the lambs so far have arrived into the world without any problems.
Already the lambs are taking on their own personalities, the first ewe to be born has been nick named Bandit, because of her face markings, and she is living up to her name, trying to pinch milk from all the other mums. Apart from Brazil's little boy they other 4 ram lambs are so lazy, just eating and sleeping.
The weather this weekend has changed for the worse, and in fact it's snowing now as I write this blog. We checked on the ewes earlier and all of the new mums and their lambs are snug in the barn. We've put Ariadne and Missy into lambing pens. Ariadne is due on the 8th and Missy on the 9th, but with the weather being a bad as it is for the next few days, the last thing we want is lambs to be born outside. Lilly and Anya have still to lamb, Lilly is 2 days over due, Anya was due today.
Will post pictures of lambs as they are born

Brazil delivers at last

Brazil's little, or not so little, ram lamb came into the world at 09.45 this morning whilst we were stocking up the hay racks.
Brazil struggled to push him out so Tim gave his front legs a gently pull and once his shoulders were out, he came out with a whoosh. Within 10 minutes he was up and about and looking for a drink.
A young ram with attitude

Saturday 5 April 2008

The snow arrives and so do Chloe's twins

This morning the sleet and snow arrived, but safe and snug in the barn Chloe gave birth to twin ram lambs, and as you can see from the picture they are very snug in the hay. We've had to put a tarpalin over the entrance to the barn to stop the snow was blowing in.

Astrid's little lamb is looking much better this morning, he didn't seem quite "with it" yesterday but today he's up and about.

Friday 4 April 2008

Our first set of twins

Whilst we were exercising the dogs in the back field we noticed Allium laid down in another paddock. She seemed OK, but in fact she was giving birth and we didn't realise until we saw her in the top field with her twins. (1 ewe lamb, 1 ram lamb).

This meant that we had no room in the barn for her and her lambs, so the first 3 lambs to be born were moved into a new paddock, with their respective mums, which has a shelter, so that we've got some space.

But we're now full again as Chloe and Anya are now in the remaining empty lambing pens as they are due on the 6th April. I hope no one else decides to give birth as we've no lambing pens left. But I'm sure we'll sort something out.

Our first ram lamb

Astrid was the first ewe to give birth this morning. Tim found her and her ram lamb in the race. So at 7 o'clock this morning we were making up another pen in the barn to put them in for the next 24 to 48 hours.
The lambing pens were now full, but Lilly and Brazil refuse to give birth and are causing a bit of a jam. But as the weather is supposed to turn nasty this weekend, they will stay where they are.

Thursday 3 April 2008

The lamb that couldn't wait

This little ewe lamb wasn't due until Monday, but she must have heard about the bad weather that we are expecting over the weekend and so decided to arrive totally unexpected this morning, out in the fields. Thankfully her mum is a very experienced ewe so she was well looked after.
The Hobbits helped me get her and her mum into the barn and a pen, so that we can keep an eye on her for 24 hours.
If the weather is fine tomorrow she and the 2 other lambs born this week will be let out of the barn to enjoy the big out doors.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Surprise arrival...

Checking on the first lamb that had been born in the morning at lunch time, we had a nice shock!!! Yellow Neck in the next pen to her sister had given birth to a lovely little ewe lamb. She wasn't due until tomorrow, so a day early is nothing to worry about.
Now the Hobbits are happy that the first lamb born now has a little friend to play with......

The first lamb arrives...

Early this morning a new ewe lamb was born in our cosy barn protected from the very strong winds and rain.
Here is a picture of her and with her mum
Next lamb is due tomorrow