There are now just hoggs left to lamb (these are sheep that were lambs last year, so haven't given birth before). The older sheep have produced lots of triplets again this year (Mule sheep often do). We have 9 pet lambs and have sold 12 to other farmers to mother on to sheep that have lost their own lambs. The older ones are out in the fields. The outdoor sheep are fed provin each morning and have a silo feeder too as there isn't very much grass yet. The lambs have a 'creep' feeder with smaller lamb pellets in for them to eat. The cold snowy weather didn't bother them, however, the lambs really don't like wet weather and usually stand with their backs arched close the hedges and walls when it is really wet.
When the lambs are born indoors after being in a pen with just their mum for a couple of days they are sprayed with their 'family' number so they can be matched up easier. We use blue spray for twins and red spray for singles. The mums feet are checked and hooves clipped, udders checked and then put in a larger pen with other sheep and lambs until they are ready to go outside.
I have taken a liking to two orphan lambs who I have called Freda and Marjorie. Some of the younger orphan lambs are hand fed by a bottle and usually by a few days old they can help themselves to the 'Shepherdess' feeder which is a larger insulated bucket containing mixed milk formula and two teats, it has an heating element in it to keep it warm. They can then feed when they want.
At Young Farmers we have had some visits, activities and competitions recently, such as visting Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, sports evenings, Ice Skating and a tour and talk at Bibby's of Ingleton the local coach company, stock judging, and a Much Chuck, where we delivered farm manure to local gardeners and alllotments (we raised over £500 by doing this!).
Last Saturday the area Hedging, Walling and Indoor competitions against other clubs was held at Malham, I won the decorated Easter Cake (where we had one hour to decorate a cake) and my brother James won the senior dry-stone walling competition. Our club came second overall.
Some of the orpan lambs Marjorie having a cuddle
Freda sticking her tongue out.
My Easter Bunny Cake