2016 was our second year of lambing, and we were all quite nervous going into it this time.
Our new Ram, “Bertie” moved in last summer, and has been in the fields with the ewes since November. Bertie is a Texel sheep. Texel sheep originate from the island of Texel in the Netherlands, and are hardy, tough and docile. Their lambs are reported to have a great will to survive at birth, which bodes well!
After what seemed like a very long wait, with the ewes being closely monitored for the signs of labour finally our first little lamb arrived safely and easily on Sunday 3rd April.
More lambs arrived later that day, but they were not delivered so easily. One of the frequent checks on the herd found the ewe in labour, but she evidently needed some help and in the panic, it was hard to delve in and find the lambs legs to put it out. We quickly called in the professional assistance of Farmer Paul, who farms our surrounding fields. His son Simon soon arrived at the stables to help, by which time Farmer Jez had safely managed to deliver the first lamb. With relief all round and the lamb looking healthy, it was then Simon said, let’s check if there are any more, and reached in and whisked our another lamb! Our first set of twins.
Some bottle-feeding was done to make sure the lambs had enough to eat, but we wanted them to bond with their mums and to establish feeding from them.
It was then quite a wait until any more lambs were born, and then again suddenly within a few days, all the rest of the lambs arrived. We’ve got 2 sets of twins, and 5 single lambs. 2 boys, and 7 girls. They are all enjoying life in the field, with the shelter of the stables if they need it. They are exploring, skipping and hopping around, and doing those little funny kicky jumps that only little lambs do. Bertie has now moved out (to his dismay!) until next time.
So, all in all, everything went really well and we have 9 lambs, which we think is the end of it, but you never know. There are 2 ewes that did not have any babies, they might surprise us yet!