Wednesday 28 April 2010

Lambing has officially finished for this year!

Well that's lambing over for another year.
On Monday morning this Scottie gave birth to twin lambs, totally unaided. She had a tup (the lamb stood up) and a ewe (the one laid down) lamb. They get the prize for the cutest of this year's lambs
Then this morning Allium produced twins, the tup lamb (the one of the left) had to be helped out by Tim, followed by a ewe lamb, which too had to have a bit of a help as she was stuck by her back legs. The final count of lambs is 41, 26 tup lambs, 15 ewe lambs. We actually had 43 lambs but two were born deformed and so we had to humanly destroy them, not a nice task.
The other Scottie that was left to lamb, Tim and I turned her over to see if she had any milk in her udder. She had very little or no udder to speak of and a quick feel of her stomach confirmed that she was not pregnant. We will put her to the tup again this November to see what happens as it has been a tough winter.
We have one other ewe and her lamb in the barn, it's a Scottie with her tup lamb that was born last Thursday evening (Tim had to assist). Feeding up on Monday night we noticed her lamb was not at all well, so into the barn they both came. A quick jab of antibiotic and a warm barn usually dose the trick, but to be safe I rang the vet just to check and he suggested another dose of Watery Mouth medication as he may not have got a lot of his mother's colostrum. Yesterday he was still with us, but not improving, so I rang a local farmer to come and check the lamb out, and it was a chance comment about Selenium deficiency that everything fell into place. Our land is low in Selenium, so I did a quick dash to the vets for some medication for the "little man". Today he's a lot better, but still has a long way to go.
So tonight we are enjoying a long earned bottle of wine and tomorrow morning the alarm will be turned off!!!!!! But I bet we will be awake at 5am!!!!

Sunday 25 April 2010

We're on the final leg....

3 lambs have been born since last night's blog.
This is Anya's tup lamb, born yesterday morning with a bit of assistance. As you can see he's a big lad.
This is the only female Scottie lamb to be born so far this year. She was the one born as I was doing last night's blog. We will be keeping her to add to our future breeding stock.

This Scottie tup lamb was born this morning. We had to assist with the birth, he again is a big lamb, so the ewe needed help pulling him out. But he's fine, up and about and feeding well.
The little lamb that has the "rattle" is improving and hopefully he and his mum will be able to join the other new mums and lambs out in the field tomorrow.
Only 3 ewes left to lamb.........

Saturday 24 April 2010

10 lambs born this week!!!!

Well actually it's 12, Anya had hers today and just as I'm starting to do the blog one of the Scotties has given birth.
Anyway here's the role call so far this week,
Bernice with her ewe lamb born on late on Monday night
Here is Cicely with her twins, one of each a ewe and a tup lamb, born early Tuesday morning
This Scottie with her tup lamb born on Wednesday
Also on Wednesday, Beatrix with her 2 tup lambs. The first time she's had twins
On Thursday evening, Tim had to chase this Scottie, down the field with the lamb's head hanging out. A leg was back and one pulled forward he was born, no trouble at all. For the first 24hours we were giving this little man a bottle as his mum's milk had not "come down". But she's feeding him fine now.
This tup lamb was born Friday lunch time. But today he's not very well, he has a loud rattle on his chest. But a couple of shots of antibiotics should pick him up. We've also given his mum a shot as well in case she's carrying something in her milk to make him ill. This evening the "rattle" is a little quieter.
Finally, ear;y this morning, with no problems, Abbi gave birth to twin lambs, a ewe and a tup. The lambs were up and suckling and look to all the world as if there were several days old.
Anya and a Scottie have had lambs today, but I've not had chance to take photos. These will be posted tomorrow, hopefully.
Only 4 ewes left to lamb. We should finish lambing on Wednesday and it can't come soon enough!!!!

Monday 19 April 2010

Just like buses, nothing happens.......

then two ewes decide to lamb. Not at the same time, but on the same day.
The first to lamb was one of our "old girls", Amber, this will be the last year she will have lambs. We are to retire her from breeding this year and she will join her daughter, Amy and Brazil looking after the young gimmer lambs.
She had her lambs just before 2am this morning. I'd checked all the sheep at midnight and Amber was starting to "nest", so I decided to check again 2 hours later. By which time she'd had both lambs (a ewe and a tup lamb). Both were up and about and trying to suckle. So I put them into a pen, sprayed their navels etc. Gave mum a much needed bucket of water and left them to it. It was 2.45am when I finally crawled into bed.
Tim did the early morning check, nothing was happening. The Resident Vandal arrived and after a quick cup of tea we all did a ewe check to find that Emma was busily licking a lamb.

A quick check to see if she was having any more lambs and then take her and her tup lamb into the barn. He's a sturdy little fellow and considering this is her first lamb, he's looking good and she is such an attentive mum.
This evening Cicely and Berniece are making signs of pending births. Cicely has claimed the outdoor sheep shelter. It could be a long night for Tim and the Resident Vandal, I'm having an early night as I'm working at the Employment tribunal in Newcastle tomorrow.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Other stuff that's got done whilst waiting for the lambs

As the weather has been so dry and fine, it's been good to be out and about. I've taken the time to get on with some seed planting in the greenhouse and veg garden. I recon that I'm about a month behind with my seed planting. So far I've managed to sow in pots in the greenhouse, peas, brussel sprouts, summer and winter cabbage, leeks and tomatoes, and then today I finally got my seed potatoes planted out in the deep beds. I also cut the grass in the wooded area for the first time this year and used the clipping to mulch out the newly planted potatoes. I'm hoping this week that I can get my parsnip seeds sown as the soil is now warm enough.
We've also managed to get all of the chopped wood split and stacked away in the shed. Now just need to get the rest of the wood pile chopped so that we can get it split and stacked away ready for next winter. It's not even summer and we're already planning for winter!!!!!!!!!!

Latest Lamb pictures

Early on Friday morning one of the Scottish Black Face sheep gave birth and when Tim did the 5am check he had 2 lambs and 2 mums claiming them. He got them all into the barn and by the time I came to help, the right mum had both her lambs. The other Scotty was quickly evicted from the barn, but continued to respond to any lamb that called all day. We did check her but she had not given birth and so we expected her to have her lambs pretty soon, but so far nothing.

These are 2 more tup lambs
On Friday Sharon and Chris came for the weekend as Sharon wanted some "hands on" lambing experience. Predictably not a lot happened, though Missy obliged and produced twin lambs, totally unassisted early Saturday morning
The spotty lamb in front is a ewe, with the tup lamb behind. Both are great "clod hopping" lambs. Unless something drastic happens we will be keeping the ewe lamb to add to our breeding flock. It's a pity we don't know anyone who wants a new tup, as this little man has the looks of a great tup.
No more ewes have lambed today, I think they are all waiting for tomorrows arrival of the Resident Vandal!!!!!!!

Thursday 15 April 2010

Ariadnne has done it again....

had triplets, for the 3rd year on the trot. But she wasn't the only one to give birth yesterday.
In the morning Carmen finally gave birth to her twin ewe lambs, though she took her time over the birth. From the first lamb being born to the second one, it took her 1 hour and 20 minutes. She was so easily distracted from giving birth, but in the end both lambs were up and about and feeding well. This morning they have all gone out into the field with the rest of the new mums and their lambs.

It was around tea time that Ariadnne went in to lamb and it was all over in less than 1/2 hour. The last lamb to be born was coming out backwards, but it came out so fast that it thudded into the rails on the hurdles. Three lovely little, or not so little ewe lambs.
In the picture the lambs are stood in the order they were born, with the first in the front and the the last at the back. They are all still in the barn and will be for a couple of days just to make sure all the lambs are feeding well, but on past record this will not be a problem for Ariadnne. We will watch her lambs with interest as they may be kept as replacements for some of our older ewes.
No lambs were born today, which makes 2 ewes overdue, a Scottish Blackfaced and Missy.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

First of the Scottish Blackfaced lambs

On Sunday morning as we came back from walking the dogs we noticed up in the top field, one of the Scotties with twin lambs. We brought them all down into the barn. These are two beefy little tup lambs. Not much else happened for the rest of the day and Monday was pretty quiet too. Tim decided to have an early night and when I did the 11.30 "lamb check" another of the Scotties had given birth out in the race. Thankfully it was a warm night, but all the same she was put in the barn and penned up so that we knew that both of them were safe. Tim had got up to help me move them into the barn. We finally got to bed at 1.30am.
When Tim did the 5am "lamb check" he found Yellow neck just starting to give birth and as she was laid the wrong way round, for him to help pull the lamb out, I too had to get up and hurriedly get dressed to help him. Thankfully in the 10 minutes it took me to get dressed and out to the barn, she'd turned round and Tim was able to pull out a BIG tup lamb.
A quick check of the ewes out in the race where Hepsi was showing all the signs of early labour, and because the weather was not good, we moved her into the barn, where she made fools of not only us, but her owner Jayne as well.
Hepsi gave birth to a tup lamb around 9am, then nothing, she started to cleanse and we all thought that was it. We must have been in the barn for nearly an hour before deciding to go in and get a cup of tea, with Jayne going home. Tim shut the yard gate and thought he would have a quick check on everyone, to find that Hepsi had given birth to a 2nd tup lamb.
All the lambs are strong and well and apart from Carmen are giving birth more or less to time. Carmen should have given birth on the 10th, but she could go as late as the 14th!!!!!

Friday 9 April 2010

2 more sets of twins

Cully decided to give birth late Wednesday night to a set of tup (ram) lambs.
Here she is with her "boys" marked up ready to go out into the big brave world. We did their tails and "bits" this afternoon, with very little effect on the lambs. All being well they will go out tomorrow.
Around 2.30 this afternoon Carolyn produced 2 lovely ewe lambs within the space of 10 minutes. Both are up and about and suckling well from mum.
If this fine weather persists, and they are still suckling well, we'll ring their tails and put them out tomorrow at the same time as Cully and her lambs.
We also took Heidi back home today, with her two lambs. The youngest lamb is still being bottle fed, Heidi still has not enough milk for both lambs, and he has no idea about suckling, and now it's too late for him to learn, but Heidi is so attentive of him and he and his brother play so well together that any idea we had of putting him with a friend's couple of pet lambs we are looking after, went out of the window, and Heidi's owner, Jayne is used to bottle feeding lambs, we know he will be well looked after.
Just Carmen and Yellow Neck to lamb this weekend, supposedly no one is due on Monday, then 4 ewes are due to lamb on Tuesday. We shall see what happens....

Monday 5 April 2010

Lambing begins...

At around 5.30 this evening Heidi finally delivered her lambs, after much pulling by Tim and myself to deliver the first lamb, the second lamb came out no problem. Two little healthy Tup lambs.
But it looks like Heidi has very little milk and we have had to give her second lamb a bottle of colostrum just to make absolutely sure that he has a full tummy. We're going to go out with a bottle of milk a little later tonight just to make absolutely sure that both lambs have full tummies to last the night.
We think the reason why Heidi has very little milk is that for the last couple of days she's not been eating all that much and since she has had her lambs, she's drunk a lot of water and is tucking into the hay with gusto. Hopefully this will bring on her milk. We'll keep her and her lambs in the pen for a day or so just to make absolutely sure.
Next lambs are due Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to ewes that have lambed before and who have "bagged up" really well.

The Hobbits arrive

The Hobbits arrived on Sunday afternoon with their usual array of paraphernalia which seems to explode to three times it's size once in the house!!!
As it was Easter Sunday the Hobbits decided they wanted to roll some eggs down one of the slopes in our fields, but first they wanted to decorate them.
Here are their artistic efforts
These are the eldest Hobbit's decorated eggs
and these are the youngest Hobbit's eggs

The both had a great time throwing their eggs down the slope in the back field. It's amazing how robust hard boiled eggs are. It was only when the eldest Hobbit's egg hit a fence post did it explode into several pieces!!! Deefa had a great time running backwards and forwards with the Hobbits as they ran to retrieve their eggs. We all had a great time laughing at the Hobbit's attempts to smash their eggs.