Lambing is always a stressful time here at the croft and this year was no exception. It’s filled with sleepless nights watching restless sheep and anxious days peering at fragile looking lambs wondering if they’re feeding properly. This year was made a wee bit easier by the installation of our CCTV cameras. Instead of spending hours in a chilly shed, we could monitor all the activity from the warmth of the house, only needing to venture out when a lambing was actually in progress.
It all went much more smoothly than usual and of course we could see which lambs were feeding and which ones needed a bit of help. One particular boy (we named him Polka-dot, after we marked him with a blue spot so that we could recognise him instantly in the crowd), spent his time standing hunched in the corner. We eventually came to the conclusion that he wasn’t getting enough milk so with the aid of an obliging goat, we supplemented his mother’s milk. He is now fat and healthy.
Most of the births were straightforward, the ewes producing mainly twins but there were a couple of singles. No triplets this time which is good for the mothers as it’s easier to cope with two. However, we did have one first-timer that gave us cause for concern. After watching her all night on camera, she finally got started in the early hours, but the lamb was going nowhere. It was stuck fast. Thanks to the assistance of our obliging neighbour, an experienced sheep farmer, now retired, and some baling twine, we managed to heave the enourmous lamb out.
Despite the fact that it took quite a while and its tongue was blue, it survived and is now thriving. What a relief and we were so grateful for the help, you learn something new every year.
Only one left to lamb now and she is certainly taking her time. All the rest are ready to be vaccinated and move on out to pastures new.
In other news, Fin seems to be responding to the medications and is feeling a lot more comfortable now.