6th January 2020 – It’s that time of year again…
This time of year always brings a whole load of excitement, headaches, long nights and short sleeps.
The Boss (interchangeable term!) frequently wanders into the kitchen muttering and yawning something about ‘had four more lamb overnight’ or ‘another flippin triplet’.
In real terms we have been officially lambing for 40 days and it is beginning to feel like it has rained on every one of those days! 135 ewes later have delivered their lambs and lambing is heading towards the finishing line.
We don’t count how many lambs yet – farming superstition – although we do know how many as the new lambs have been ‘tagged and tailed’ and recorded.
Within those numbers, we should note that at least three lambs have spent time at the new B&B albeit not in the guest rooms!! I have heard the story from The Boss so many times I could recite it in my sleep…
“It’s mum didn’t want it so it’s just in here to keep warm” or “The ewe’s udder is empty on one side so I’m topping it up”. This all leads to “Holly lamb is coming on a treat” – substitute any other Christmas related name and a tame lamb will have been given it!
The temporary accommodation for orphaned or tame lambs, usually in a strong cardboard box, serves as a great distraction for the Springer Spaniel (otherwise known as Suzie Spangles) who considers herself some sort of Midwifery Guru and ‘attends’ to the young lambs with enthusiasm. Short of being able to actually feed them, she covers all other bases and snuggles them, licks them and protects them in case her ‘sister’ Ginnie (the Kelpie x Collie) should even think of saying hello!
In fairness, the current ‘Holly Lamb’ is also known as Mrs Pesty lamb as she is very vocal and bossy and really is ‘coming on a treat’ She hollers as loudly as any cat and gets first dibs on the bottle every time. Suzie would still like to befriend her, but the lamb has forgotten about her now and only responds to anyone with a bottle in their hand!
To watch them is a wonderful ‘waste of time’ at the end of the evening session when all have been fed and watered, had a new bed put down and are snuggled up chewing the cud and there follows a gentle sound of satisfied stock in the barn.
Until the alarm pierces the night at 3 am when The Boss is checking them again….