Our pregnant ewes came in from the field just after Christmas for extra care, shelter and food - this is important for strong lamb development. The ewes were all scanned in the New Year so that we can separate them into two groups: those expecting a single lamb in one group, twins or triplets in the other. The blue and green marks on their backs are the farmer’s code for whose got what inside them.
There are currently about 100 breeding ewes in the flock and we expect 150+ lambs. Our ewes are 2 years old the first time they lamb. The gestation period for a sheep is 5 months - the ewes come into season in September and we put our rams in the field in with the girls on 1st October. This means lambing will commence in the first week of March. We choose this schedule in order to have lambs on show in the Museum's fields for Easter.
So for the next few weeks they’ll be loafing around in the shed eating and sleeping….
Sunbathing, and generally being pampered.
Somewhere in amongst them is Poopsie, one of our bottle fed lambs from two years ago. She got the name after pooping all over my leg the first time I fed her.
Sometimes hand reared lambs will stay very tame, but Poopsie has merged back into the flock. Just occasionally though, there’s a look in the eye that makes me think ‘maybe it’s you……’