We were lucky enough to have great weather this lambing time – lots of sunshine and not much rain. We had around 550 lambing inside this year – they were still turned out to grass with their lambs in great conditions.
When it does rain, ewes don’t generally mind much. The lambs, though, don’t like getting cold and wet. They huddle close to their mothers or in under hedges, trying to shelter and keep warm. When the sun comes out, they run and leap or just stretch out and sun-bathe. They race each other across the grass and play on any grassy mounds or tree stumps they can find. For a shepherd, it’s a very satisfying sight and a good sign that the lambs are healthy and strong.
April was a busy month, with our lambing ewes housed between four sheds. 30 to 65 ewes with all their lambs were transported out to grass every day through the busiest time. There has been an average of 1.7 lambs per ewe turned out to grass so far, with troublesome sheep and pet lambs staying at home.
As we move towards a lower input system with, there will be more outdoor lambing. This year, we had around 900 outdoor lambing ewes which was generally successful – we’re looking forward to next year!