What you soon learn when lambing sheep is that it always starts with disaster. When you stop to think about it, this is probably inevitable, because you have a lot of sheep reaching late pregnancy together. With a dairy herd, calving tends to be far more spread out, so triumphs and disasters come at random throughout the year. But with sheep you’ll often get a rush of premature or sickly lambs at the start of lambing, and then the flock largely passes through that phase (you hope) and normality is restored.
But it does mean that early lambing can be more stressful and depressing than it really needs to be. As you get older and more experienced, you just come to expect it.
As you can see we’ve got most of the ladies in. They’ve got a bedded building to sleep in, but we put the silage in this building for them. It’s open, light and will at least mean they can mouch around in the dry if it does rain. Obviously it’s not desperately warm with an easterly wind blowing but they’ve all got their winter coats on. Also if it does get that cold they can go inside their bedded building.
Also looking across the yard and eastwards you can see that at the moment we’ve no snow, so here’s hoping it will stay like that.
Mind you, feeding the others who are still outside was fun. Riding into the wind on the quadbike was painful. I was glad that I got into the habit of wearing amber tinted safety glasses after my cataract surgery, because they at least keep the wind out of my eyes and I didn’t have to squint.
Interestingly the sheep who are still outside do seem a lot happier. Whilst it might be cold, it is at least dry and a bit of cold breeze doesn’t bother them in the slightest. In fact if you get out of the wind and keep in the sun it is actually rather pleasant.
Certainly looking out from the top of the hill where I was feeding sheep the view was stunning. It’s obvious that the Western Pennines haven’t had a lot of snow yet, and the Lake District fells don’t seem to have much more coverage than they had previously. Indeed Black Combe doesn’t have any real snow cover at all. But with the sun shining on it all the view was well worth a bit of chill breeze.