Monday, 1 March 2010
The ewes first possible lambing date is in three weeks time and judging by their size and the fact they have started to bag up I think they will be on time. I hate the next few weeks, maybe hate is far too strong a word, it's just I get so anxious, doing none of us any good. Every twitch, every startled look, every stiffness in limb they show I'm convinced they are going to die ! Crazy I know. I have calved cows for many years and lambs for the past three. I know what symptoms to look for and what treatment is required but still I worry.
At the weekend Annie, the Zwartbles was looking lame or so I had convinced myself, so I brought her in to check her feet. Being tame they come to the rattle of a bucket and to do their feet I simply lift them as you would a horse. Her feet were fine, I removed the mud between her cleats and sprayed them purple. Being tame it caused her no stress, but the 'was that really necessary look' she gave me said it all.
Each week now I am increasing their feed. At the weekend I will muck out, scrub and lime wash the stable in readiness. Normally we put the ewes into the 'Fowl's run' ( ironically not where the chicken are), the paddock adjacent to the stable, two weeks before lambing. It has been almost a year since they have been on that area and since the turkeys went at Christmas it has been free of all livestock. However this year as there is so little grass I will most likely keep them where they are until just before the lambs are born, stable them and then turn them out into the Fowl's run after lambing. We'll see how it goes.
Freda has never lambed before and she is a breed I have never had before so we will have to keep a careful check on her. This will be Annie's third lambing, previously she has lambed during daylight hours unaided and quite quickly let's hope she continues to do so.