Lambing 2015 - week oneRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 31 March, 2015

by Rosemary at 8:47am in Sheep 4 comments Comments closed

We usually aim to start lambing on 1st April; this year, we’re a bit earlier because we were on holiday in November and wanted to put the tup in before we went to make sure he was working.

According to “The Chart” and raddle marks, our first ewe hit 147 days on Monday 23rd March.


So the shed was prepared and the lambing box restocked in plenty of time and, wonder of wonders, Poppy delivered twins  (one tup, one ewe) as planned on Monday 23rd. This is her third lambing – she’s had twins and triplets previously – so it was really no surprise to find her with two lambs, up and fed, without any intervention from me.


Tuesday brought our first set of triplets (we have four ewes scanned with triplets). Lucy was a day early and had the longest labour, although she was pretty unconcerned and didn’t seem to be putting in much effort. This is her fifth lambing – she’s had three sets of twins and one single previously. Her waters broke at 9.47am – see, I was watching – but I didn’t want to mess with her, even though it was killing me. The first lamb was born at 11am, the second at 1pm and the third at 1.30pm. Lucy managed to have a feed of hay between lamb 1 and lamb 2.  All three are tups and she’s doing very well with them.

At this stage Dan was cock-a-hoop, having four tups and one ewe – last year we had 14 ewes and 7 tups (and we want tups, really).

Wednesday, Poppy and Lucy went out into Sheepfold.


Thursday morning, Pixie surprised us by producing her triplets (all ewes, thus bringing our gender balance back to 50:50) – we thought she was due 12th April, because she had a green raddle mark over the yellow, but that must just have been for fun. I went out to find her with one lamb; the second was almost out, so I pulled it and the third followed immediately. Two white and one black, she seems to be feeding them just fine – she carries a bit of condition, so she can afford to milk off her back a bit ☺.

She was a bit reluctant to get up to let them feed at first, but I think she was just tired; by Day 2 she was fine.


Thursday evening was Tansy’s turn – she’s a gimmer and Niamh’s daughter. She had a ewe then a tup without intervention but the tup lamb is tiny (less than 3kg). He also had tight tendons in both his back legs, but with a bit of massage, they’ve loosened off and he’s completely sound. He was very bright and was a very keen feeder, so now he’s running around normally, I’m sure he’s going to be fine.


Early hours of Friday morning, Tilda lambed a tup lamb (our only single) without me – so any prospect of twinning on was missed. To be honest, she’s a bit of a stress first time mum, so would probably not have been a good candidate for twinning on.


Saturday evening, and Trixie, another first-timer, lambed a tup and a ewe, both good-sized lambs. The tup lamb, the first, didn’t have the front legs properly extended, so she was struggling a bit – once I straightened them out, she delivered him without difficulty. I debated about pulling the second and was glad I did decide to have a feel because the second lamb was breech.  I pulled her and with a bit of rubbing and a squirt of the miraculous Kickstart, both were breathing and starting to rally.

However, Trixie wasn’t interested – she wasn’t running off (well, she couldn’t because we’d penned her with the lambs) and she wasn’t aggressive, just not interested. No chuntering, no licking ☹

Fortunately, these were big, feisty lambs and were up on their feet and demanding a feed, so with a wee bit of restraint on Trixie from me, they got one about 11.30pm. When I checked them again at 2am, she was starting to talk to them and lick them and by morning, she loved them. I think she was just tired and a bit stunned. The three of them went out today (Monday) and she’s very attentive.


Sunday lunchtime, Twinkle produced two tup lambs, one black, one white, without incident and they went out this morning.

And that’s been our first week. Not without incident, but no disasters so far. I’m a bit concerned about Penny, who’s expecting triplets on 7th April. I fear she may be going to suffer a vaginal prolapse; she hasn’t yet, but I just have a bad feeling. She’s a big girl, and carrying three lambs, she’s vast. It’s always a balance – if you don’t feed enough, there’s the risk of pregnancy toxaemia; if you feed too much, they get overweight and the risk of prolapse increases. Hey ho, just need to keep and eye on her and act accordingly, when and if the need arises.

We’ve had far fewer instances of entropion so far this year – two lambs out of fifteen have had one eyelid turned in but both have been corrected with one action. It is a problem with Ryelands (and other breeds) but we’ve never had a case that needed veterinary intervention, for which I’m grateful.

So seven ewes, fifteen lambs, nine tups and six ewes. Eight still to lamb – bring on week two ☺



Saturday 4 April, 2015 at 9:50am

Thank you so much for this diary. I'm in my second year of solo lambing with just 7 ewes who were all cades and raised by bottle 3 and 4 years ago. I have a great farmer friend I can call (at any time, he tells me) but I'm also using the Internet for info too. So far I've delivered two first time mums, both had triplets. One was perfect and one was less so: 1st lamb was perfect but second was so small, maybe 1.5lb, and we thought not viable. However we whipped baby into the 12yo's care and baby is thriving. We milked colostrum and fed all three. Mum later rejected baby 3 but kept baby 1. We're good with cades so these are being cared for with another 8 babies. 5 more ewes to go.


Sunday 5 April, 2015 at 3:10am

So you leave your triplets with the Ewe rather that hand rear one? I am sitting here waiting for 2 of my Ryelands to produce and give their size.....


Wednesday 13 May, 2015 at 11:56am


Can someone give me a bit of advise I took my ram out on the 15th December All my other 6 ewes lambed between the 2nd and the 15th April. Still waiting on Poppy a 6 year old ewe. Her history is before she came to us she had a lamb in her first year. She aborted the second year and last year she had a breach birth

What should I do, thought of waiting till the 16th May, and getting the vet up to look at her

Can anyone give me advise

Thanks in advance



Monday 18 May, 2015 at 1:53pm

Advise that you post this on the website Forum if she still hasn't lambed. :-)

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