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NEWS - June 2018

Noah-and-Jess.jgp

Spring definitely sprang with a vengeance when May arrived. Our rescued ewes had begun lambing steadily in April, a single here, twins there, all plain sailing with healthy lambs and healthy mums. Just as we were thinking it was all going too well, the problems we'd been expecting began.

The most important thing for breeding ewes, for obvious reasons, is that they're in good condition when the ram is put in with them. These aged ladies weren't. If we'd looked beneath the fleeces we'd have found bags of bones.

We began getting triplets, tiny, weak little lambs, ewes with no milk, ewes unable to lamb without assistance. Between us, we managed to lamb them all successfully, plus give them the round the clock attention needed to keep them alive.

It was a relief when finally all but one ewe had lambed. (We're still waiting for her.) The weather became kinder, the grass grew and bit by bit, we were able to give the lambs their vaccinations and turn them out into a paddock close to the house.

Initially, they stuck close to mum. Then one of the bolder lambs ventured forth and gave a little leap in the air, soon to be followed by one or two more brave ones. Before long 50-plus lambs were racing each other through the grass, leaping and galloping on spindly legs until they were worn out and suddenly realised they couldn't see mum. A lot of bleating and shouting went on until they were all reunited. Peace reigned once more.

Jersey-Boys

All of this excitement was followed by shearing, preparing sheep ready for turn out back into the fields, and preparing our now big, healthy Jersey calves to go out into the fields for the first time in their lives and meet our other cattle. It was such a joy to see these handsome boys enjoying the freedom of the fields after their first winter spent in the barn.

One of the first residents they met was Shoveller the cow. Despite the poor prognosis when he was born, this young lad has thrived. His small stature helped him when the winter weather was rough. (The cheeky chap was able to shelter behind the bigger animals, especially Buster.)

Another resident enjoying the change in seasons is our lovely pig, Colin. He spent most of the winter in his ark, stretched out in his straw bed - very sensible. Now, with the warmer weather, Colin spends most of the day wallowing in his mud bath, if his partner Freda lets him share it, of course. He's very polite and never argues with her; he certainly knows his place.

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