Some of you may have been watching lambing live the past week or so… we haven’t as we have our own farm reality show here at Fern Verrow. Lambs are due from tomorrow onwards, 145 days since the ram arrived back in November. We have been checking progress two or three times a day for the past week. Have had our eye in particular on “Texy” , walking like John Wayne, and an udder the size of a small balloon. This morning typically on a busy day… as I pull up I see a ewe alone in the corner of the field… not Texy I might add. Two very small lambs born to a first time Mum, two females , one strong the other not so. Mum seems to love them and her instincts to care are there, but she gives me the feeling that she isn’t sure what she is supposed to do. They had been born in the past hour or so, it is best not to meddle too much at this time and let the bond happen without interference, so I returned back to the house. An hour later Harry and I visited the young family and managed to help the young ‘uns latch on and fill their bellies with some warm milk from Mum. This entails lying on the ground head under the ewe squirting sticky milk into the lambs open mouths, and encouraging them to seek it out for themselves.
Several visits later and more coaxing, and having made them a straw bedded shelter from the rain, we are a little sad as both lambs are very premature looking and not as bouncy as we would like… another feeding session before dark and hope that in the morning things will have improved, although we fear one may die. One cannot be effected by the harsh realities of nature taking its course, at the end of the day everyone has done their best. The ewe will raise one lamb very well, and I am sure will not have memory of the other if it is to die. How different we are !
On a more cheery note, although we haven’t had as much sunshine as the East of the country things are progressing well, some nice crops to sell this week. Lots of delicious French breakfast radish, Swiss chard, and some beautiful spring cabbage tops….. who needs purple sprouting? The Rhubarb has enjoyed the rain this week and is in good supply.
Lots of herbs for cooking and teas. Tulips… maybe some this week, but next for sure! so exciting!