Diary

All about lambingRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 12 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:47pm in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

So it’s all about lambing this week. The gimmer due on the 1st (or so we thought) still hasn’t lambed so I’m guessing either she’s slipped her lamb after scanning or the tup caught her on the second cycle. I was a wee bit tardy changing the raddle so she might really be a green bum not a yellow one. I think she may be starting to show a bit of a belly, but it might be wishful thinking on my part. Anyway, we’ll find out in due course – if she did get caught second cycle, she’ll be due about the 18th.

We finally got underway on the 8th, when Niamh produced twin ewe lambs between 2am and 5.20am. This is her fifth lambing and her seventh and eight lambs, of which seven have been ewes and only one tup (a huge white one as a gimmer). Stella had twin ewes on the 9th and Twinkle had a white tup and a black ewe on the 11th. These four ewes and their lambs are now out in the field.

Today (12th), Treacle kicked off with a single tup lamb about 1.30am; I was pleased to find that both quarters were working fine as she had mastitis after weaning last year. Poppy had her triplets between 4am and 6am – they were up and sucked when Dan went out first thing. She had a white tup and two black ewes.

When I went out at 7am, Uma was lambing; she’d scanned with a single and, although she’s a gimmer, I thought I’d try and twin one of Poppy’s triplets on to her. I picked the tup because he was the biggest and was white, like Uma’s own lamb. The timing was good – as her own lamb slipped out, I stuck the triplet underneath the ewe and he was soaked in birth fluid. I then had a wee worry as she didn’t seem overly keen on her own lamb, never mind the tiny, but she got over the shock in a couple of minutes and started licking both. When I looked in throughout the day, she was plainly not wholly convinced but was happy to let him feed and tonight he was curled up with his brother. The single lamb weighed in at 5.84kg, while the tiny was 3.16kg but I was watching them earlier and the wee fella wasn’t letting his big “brother” push him around. Uma is actually Poppy’s daughter.

Umber produced mixed twins at about 3.30pm. That puts us past the halfway stage with eight lambed and seven to go; fifteen lambs so far, ten ewes and five tups. We’ve had much less entropion this year so far; only two lambs with relatively mild conditions and easily resolved.

Smudge is due to have her triplets today, but I’d be very surprised if she goes tonight. Edit: 2.19am Wednesday 13th April Smudge is lambing. Had one, two to come. I'm not often right but I'm wrong again.

Sadly we’ve lost one of our three bee colonies. We noticed on Sunday that one wasn’t flying and when Dan opened it, they were all dead. Dan’ll discuss it with his mentor but we think the changeable weather caught us, and them, out and they starved. The other two hives seem fine but Dan put fondant on both, just in case.

Everything else has been on hold this week – the vegetable garden and fruit garden badly need weeded, I haven’t finished cleaning the vacant henhouse and the SAF is still in draft form. But I am striving for calm. And the chocolate helps

Comments

Carse Goodlifers

Wednesday 13 April, 2016 at 9:06am

Sorry to hear about the bee's. The weather has been all over the place which isn't helping many things including plants, trees and crops for flowering and also emerging wildlife. I'm sure the hive will be restocked with a new colony in next to no time.

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