Ten of our Exmoor Horn ewes are in lamb, we hope - it was our first time with this ram. I won't try and use this blogpost as a way of drawing out lessons or metaphors for life as I am sure that readers are capable of doing that themselves. This just records our lambing experience this year.
o1 Apr. First lamb, a single male, born to ewe number 63. Its her first time, which was obvious when we approached her in the field with her new lamb, and she ran away. So while my wife tried to distract her by making lamb noises, I crept up on the ewe, grabbed her, and together we got them into a pen in the barn. Lamb #1 decided that he wasn't going to feed from his mum, despite the number of times we pointed him in the right direction, so 48hrs of bottle-feeding ensued. At which point he decided that he didn't like that nasty artificial milk and is now feeding quite happily from his mum, then practicing balancing on her back.
03 Apr. Lamb #2, another single male. This ewe (we don't know which one as she has now lost both of her eartags) spent a lot of time shouting about her lamb as she followed in from the field. By a process of elimination we think that she had a single female last year who didn't survive, so perhaps she was being particularly protective this year.
04 Apr. Ewe number 52 had twins about 7.30 this evening out behind the shepherd's hut. Numbers #3 and #4 are a male and a female who are already feeding well in the barn. Had to start building another lambing pen as they're now starting to come thick and fast. The ram was in with the ewes for six weeks so hopefully they won't all arrive at once.