Lambing Live, STW style

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  • Lambing Live, STW style
  • Waderider
    Member

    I live in the sticks in the Highlands next to the field my neighbor uses for lambing. I’m going to conduct a scientific experiment (with a very small sample size) to define the lambing lag between Wales and Gairlochy. I reckon three weeks difference?

    Premier Icon amatuer
    Subscriber

    Aah, do I miss lambing. Almost as much as I miss no central heating, the outside loo, no hot water cause the stove had gone out, constantly smelling of wet wool and shite.
    People who only lived or worked on a farm for short periods of their life look back on it through rose tinted specs and with a romantic charm like they were in Darling Buds of May.

    crosshair
    Member

    Will do! They don’t start for another fortnight I think.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    Fantastic thread. Thanks for this. I will share it with the Saxon Family.

    Good luck with it all!

    Fantastic thread.

    +1

    Looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Must organise a trip to a farm that allows visitors for lambing next year. My little fellow would absolutely love it.

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Crosshair – it looks flat where you are. Do your sheep go up into the fells? They are gorgeous, I would love a cuddle.

    Last year nbt and I were walking in the outer Hebrides, when we came across a ‘black face ewe’ about to pop. Hiding behind a large rock, we witnesses the exciting sight of the birth. Lamb was licked clean and was up and about in no time. A much better experience than being in the smelly crowded lambing sheds.

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Here is the lamb seconds after the birth.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    And so it starts.

    Rude awakening by Birgit this morning at 6. The ewe we had separated due to her having a monstrous belly had given birth to 4 (she was only supposed to have 3. Unfortunately 1 was born dead and another was weak (but currently very lively in a box by the Rayburn). While getting her sorted I heard something over the wall and pop, the next ones were there

    And since we grouped our ewes with specific rams last autumn, we finally now know which of our white rams has been throwing these black lambs over the past 4 years. He obviously has a residual Blue Texel gene. Both girls, so I will be keeping them πŸ™‚

    Stoner
    Member
    Premier Icon Andy R
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    welshfarmer – Member
    After that they ……. carry on with eating grass and trying to think up ways to die.

    My father always used to say that it’s what sheep are best at – dying.

    jambalaya
    Member

    A very good morning ! Thanks for the thread @welsh at this hectic time, love it.

    Pigface
    Member

    No. Sleep for next few weeks, what extra rations did you feed to twin and triplet ewes?

    Will you try and put orphans with another ewe or hand rear them?

    From that photo it looks like you are over the hill from Llangorse.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    @ Pigface.. over the hill 3 times till you get to the Llanthony Valley.

    The twins and triplets are separated out from the singles and fed in their groups. Triplet feeding started 6 weeks ago on a rising ration so they are currently on about a lb a day. Twins get about 1/2 a pound of ewe ration per day. Singles get nothing extra and have in fact not even had any hay/silage for the past 4 weeks as the grass has been growing here. We only bother with an adoption these days if a ewe loses her only lamb and we can use its’ skin. We have treid over the years to adopt a triplet onto a single ewe but the success rate was so poor we don’t bother now. Just have a creche and an auto feeder and rear a big batch of orphans. Works well and much more successful than adoptions.

    To everyone who has commented so far. Thanks for kind words and anecdotes. Keep them coming and I will try and keep you updated. If it all goes quiet you can be sure things are getting stressful here. Ah well, better go and feed the tiddler in the box.

    tuskaloosa
    Member

    bookmarked to show the kids. Great thread

    we spent one Easter break in the Brecon and the kids had a really great time on the farm and they got to see and learn a bit about process and the wee ones.

    I must admit I was a bit mesmerized by the fact that there were dead sheep in a big kind of bin..

    The views on/from your farm are stunning welshfarmer

    mikewsmith
    Member

    My father always used to say that it’s what sheep are best at – dying.

    See the bit that really gets you is the Holywood style survival of the worst weather and problems only to drop dead on a warm sunny afternoon almost just to piss you off.

    Pigface
    Member

    Thanks Welshfarmer, agree with the orphan regime. That’s how we did it.

    So Blacks rather than Beacons, lovely part of the world.

    roper
    Member

    Thanks for the thread. Very entertaining. Why are you specifically keeping the black female lambs? A part from black jumpers being popular πŸ™‚ , is their more financial gain to them ?

    qwerty
    Member

    Yesterdays ride find of lambs:

    [/url]2017-03-16_10-35-12 by martinddd, on Flickr[/img]

    neilc1881
    Member

    Bit of a thread hi-jack but we’re only a short ride away in Talybont, got a shepherd’s hut and cabin so if anyone fancies seeing some lambing and getting out on the bike then have a look at us on AirBnB (Aber Farm, Talybont on Usk).
    We lamb our small flock of Welsh ewes outside. It does seem to keep overnight births to a minimum, around 75% of ewes lambing at dawn and dusk.

    Edit, forgot to say the girls ought to start 6th April, but a few earlies are expected the week before due to an incident with a rather energetic young tup and a fence or 2…

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    My favourite time of the year.
    Those little black lambs are gorgeous.

    Am also liking the Jacob’s lambs.
    My friend who kept Jacob sheep had a nasty accident. He was feeding from a bucket, 1 ewe got too excited and jumped up. Its top horn went right through my friends lip. Could have been serious if a centimetre or 2 higher.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Well it is all go here at the moment. Funny how it coincides with a change for the worse in the weather! All my triplets seem to be having quads and these early lambers all seem to have too little milk. It is always the first & last ones that are the problem cases. So currently have 2 on the bottle and one more to join them in the morning after it has got its’ colostrum from mum. Got a problem with one of my little bottle lambs not wanting to suck. Kind of drives you mad and would test the patience of a saint. The other (her sister) has taken to it without a problem. Anyway, enough talking, cut to the cute pics πŸ™‚

    ell_tell
    Member

    Stop it with the lamb pics. It’s almost making me want to become a veggie!

    Is it a *thing* that sheep like bread too? We stayed at a B&B in Froome a while back, and the owner gave us some bread to give to the sheep one morning. I thought he was taking the Michael, but it seemed they couldn’t get enough!

    Waderider
    Member

    No lambs yet in Gairlochy. Mmmmmmmmm lamb.

    timber
    Member

    Farm next to our yard kicks off beginning of April, they’re already looking for extra hands, about a thousand ewes with twins. The singles are on their other farm around the hill.

    Another friend has already started above Rhosgoch.

    Both are areas prone to snow, even at Easter. There have been lambs near Brecon since February where it’s lower.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Pretty sure mine would love bread. They aint getting it though πŸ™‚ Greedy things get too much as it is. Spoilt rotten by mrs farmer. seems we are on the triplets at the moment. Another one lining up to pop. Better give her 30 mins and then go and see if all is OK. Very high chance of malpresentation with triplets. Had a set yesterday with 2 heads trying to come out at the same time!

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Love this thread. Learning lots of lamb facts.

    I once caught a woman trying to feed my horse (years ago) with cucumber sandwiches. When I explained about the diet of these animals, her reply was “but she likes them” πŸ™„

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Great pics and you’ve clearly got your work cut out with multiple births, 2 heads at once sounds terrifying! Do hope the ones struggling to feed are now getting the hang of it.

    Hope that you manage to fit in some sleep, guess you must have some sort of shift system going on.

    Looking forward to further updates with pics. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Update on the triplet I was waiting for at midnight. I gave her and hour and still nothing so decided to have a quick look. It was instantly obvious that the lamb wasn’t presented correctly (head stretched forward resting on the 2 front legs) as all I could feel was 1 leg and the back of a head. Relatively straight forward to push the lamb back a few cms, find the mouth, and rotate the head into the correct direction. Then pulling on the one leg while guiding the head, out the lamb pops. Being a mature triplet bearing ewe she had plenty of room so it was very straightforward. Big singles in young ewes can often get really stuck if not 100% perfect in presentation. Anyway, all was good but the ewe was very tired so I made the decision to fetch out the other 2 lambs while I was there. There is nothing worse than coming back in an hour and finding dead lambs as she is too tired to look after them when they arrive. I left mum with all 3 (very big for triplets) lambs doing well.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    @cinnamon girl. Me and Mrs WF have a good shift system that generally works great. I am a night owl and she is a morning person. So I will stay up and do all the evening shift until about 1 am before turning in. Birgit then gets up around 3.30-4am and continues. Most lambs are born late evening or at dawn so between us we will be available for 99% of births should help be needed. The worst days for me are when there is a big problem at around 4am and I have to get up then to help. I end up like a Zombie all day. But I guess anyone who has had kids will relate to this πŸ™‚

    andyl
    Member

    damn just seen this, heading over to the Gower for a day out today and would have loved to have arranged to pop over and say hi (if welcome of course!).

    I have cocked up our lambing this year, we were a bit late getting a new ram (ended up buying a Texel as we can no longer loan our normal one) and then we tried sponging as I now I have a full time contract an hour away but that failed miserably and now we have a spread of 6 bloody weeks for just 7 ewes. Thinking about keeping some of the boys entire this year and selling for breeding as our big Texel ewe throws lovely boys.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Hmmm, rough with the smooth. Got this little fella in the warming box. His temperature is way down (low 20s). Be amazed if we can save him. He was one of a triplet but both his siblings were born dead so I am hoping to save him so that he can go back with his mum. If not then I will have to skin him and make a coat for one of the other bottle lambs and get mum to adopt them. Typical that this ewe has the most milk of any of the ewes to lamb this far and yet manages to end up with no lambs! Ah well, I better go and milk her now as the lamb will need to be fed through a tube whatever. And if it dies I will be able to save the colostrum for another lamb that might need it..

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    come on lamb, we’re all rooting for you.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    Looking promising. Temp is now up to 33.3 degrees. Maybe we can save him after all

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    could you not fashion him a coat? Something of natural fibres, high thermal insulation properties, maybe treat it with some kind of oil or wax to waterproof it…….

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
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    πŸ™‚ what were you thinking. A mink?

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Come on, lamby!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Looks like a Chuck to me.

    Go on son.

    bubs
    Member

    Great thread and good luck. Roughly how many are you expecting and how long are you going to have to hold vigil?

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    πŸ™ Well Chuck didn’t make it.

    His skin is currently confusing his mum as he appears to have come back to life! The adoption lamb has sucked but she is still very wary. Hopefully she will calm down by morning and accept him. Expecting roughly 360 lambs in total. Rams were running with the ewes for about 6-7 weeks so could have lambs any time up till end of April. We do colour the rams bellies though so we know roughly how many won’t lamb in the first 3 weeks (about 20 of them)

    jambalaya
    Member

    Great to have the updates, good news and bad. Lovely photos on the prior page. I think that the harsh reality of those that don’t make it adds to part of the joy at those who do.

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 132 total)

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