Orphaned

This month we were busy looking after the rejects

April brings lambs for us, as we generally put the ram with the ewes quite late in the year. The rationale is that if the worst of the weather is over, lambs can go outside sooner without danger.

This year, 5 ewes gave us 11 lambs – a mixture of singles, twins, and triplets!

The downside was that for some reason, 5 of the 11 were rejected by their mothers (‘orphaned’). This can be quite difficult for all concerned, not least because they have to be fed several times a day on powdered ewes milk. Expensive, and time-consuming! Then there’s the head butting that takes place once they get the hang of the bottle. After you’ve hand fed 5 lambs you are black and blue!

It was touch and go for one lamb, who we thought we would lose. It wasn’t clear that she’d been orphaned at first, and we found her in a corner of the shed shivering. We brought her inside in a dog cage and placed her next to the range to warm up, and slept with her in our arms.

By the next day, she was much better, and a few days later she went outside into a crate with a hot lamp. Little did we know that she’d soon have 4 friends to join her…

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