Thursday 26 April 2012

I have no idea what is going on with our website at the minute but I am struggling to get on it, can anyone else view it or is it just me?!  I was all set last night to blog and I couldn't get on blogger either.

Lambing is now slowing down which is good, it has been a real eye opener for someone used to lambing pet sheep to now have 100(ish) Blackface ewes, which it has to be said are pretty wild.  I've helped Alan, our old neighbour out over the years but he has mainly mules on flat fields so if there is an issue they are generally catchable.

Our blackies on the other hand are in a 50+ acre field which has numerous drains and steep bits which are difficult to navigate the quad round so trying to catch a ewe is difficult and trying to catch it on your own almost impossible.  Even when they are in the middle of lambing and have an issue they still have the energy and desire to jump up and run like the clappers!

A prime example, we had one on Sunday which was lambing, Paul had gone on the rounds as we'd had alpaca visitors and Sky were here (yes we finally have a telly; not that it's been switched on yet).  He came back to say I think one is having difficulty.

Off we went, and sure enough this girl was struggling, I could see (from a distance) there was a head and not a lot else.  We then tried to corner her, luckily she was on one of the banks over the burn so we thought we would be ok - Wrong!

She ran past both of us, jumped the burn with the lambs head dangling from her back end bouncing all over the place.  After a bit of a chase Paul just managed to get the crook on her to slow her down so I could grab her.  The sight I saw bought tears to by eyes.

The poor girl was trying to lamb twins at the same time, there was one full head out, swollen with tongue hanging out and half of a second head, half of one leg and the foot of another!  As you can imagine things were very tight, I managed to get in and establish the it was one leg from each lamb; great.

I really was struggling to sort this out and I was convinced the first lamb was dead.  I was struggling to push the second lamb back in as the ewe was have contractions and pushing against me and I couldn't get in far enough to find the second leg of the first lamb. 

Eventually I managed to push the second lamb in far enough to get the first one out with only one leg and the scruff of its neck.  To my surprise it was alive, just.  So whilst Paul held the ewe with one hand and swung the lamb with the other I birthed the second twin who was also very weak.

After a few days in the shed the twins (girl & boy) are doing fine and are back out in the field with their mum, who despite or ordeal loves them.  Although in this weather they probably wish they were still inside!

'Out in the field' took on another meaning yesterday, if you follow our tweets you will know.  I went out shortly after lunch to check the sheep and spotted the boys in the big field we are currently dividing.  Paul had removed their padlock at the weekend as it was sticking and obviously hadn't shut their top gate properly and the wind had blown it open.

12 boys, 25 acres of fresh grass and the girls to get excited about meant not much chance of food enticing them back!  Eventually I managed to catch each of them (some easier than others) and return them to their paddock.  As I'm sure you can imagine Paul was not popular.  I didn't want to leave them out because there are lots of things out for fencing which they could have got hurt on and part of the bottom fence is just barbed wire.

It was quite funny watching the boys charge round kicking their heels in excitement.  Hughie seemed to enjoy jumping over the drain whilst Golden Guinea just stood posing at the girls.  Some of the young girls were enjoying his advances - they will be mated in soon!


Miriam C said...

Debbie I can view your website and tweets fine. Maybe it's just the weather?! Dreadful weather for lambing, poor things. Hope things improve before the alpacas start birthing.

Judi B said...

Yes the nwew blogger is difficult but your blog can be viewed.

Maybe Paul can't reach to close the gate from the tractor cab? You can't really expect him to get out in this awful weather can you??!

Bev said...

Phew, good job with the stuck twins. I know I'm a few days behind but great blogging with so much going on..