Thursday, 12 January 2017

Four!

 
The lambs have started arriving, these two first,
 

.....then these two,....
 


... with Mum keeping a close eye on them.
 
The lambs look fragile, but they are tough little beings.
I can remember the first lambs born here and how panicky we were about keeping  them warm.
I can remember the look on the French builders faces as we carried the lambs across the courtyard in from of them, taking them in to the Half Barn, where we made a pen for them and their mum.
I think they thought we were off our heads!
This was in December 2010:
 
 
 
We were still living in the caravans  then, so the ewe and lambs were actually warmer than we were!
Eventually we let this little family out onto the paddock because by then other lambs had started arriving and we realised that we could not house all of them in the Half Barn!
 
A year later, and we were able to start unpacking the caravans:
 

... and move in to the Half Barn:
 

....which was now clear of all clutter, including straw, sheep, and builder's things.
 
 
A year further on, and the Half Barn had become a cosy space for us to live in while the rest of the house was sorted out. The caravans had gone, and no more sheep came and visited us indoors!
 
Meanwhile, we had become more experienced with raising sheep,
and did not fuss any more if a ewe decided to have her lambs in the middle of inclement weather.
Orphan lambs, which are lambs rejected by their mums for one reason or another, well this was another steep learning curve, because there is always the urge to pick them up and give them a cuddle because they are so damn cute, but we resist this urge now because it can confuse the lambs  as to what species of animal they belong to, human or sheep, because they will bond to whoever is feeding them and looking after them.
So we do not bring young lambs in to the house anymore, but keep them with the flock, bottle feeding them amongst the other sheep and lambs so they do not attach too much to human beings, which they still do a little bit, but this soon goes once the lamb starts growing up.
As I say, lambs are much tougher than what they look!
 
..... and the only orphan lamb of 2015, after having had his bottle of milk,
 
 
and being taken back to the other youngsters of the flock....
 
 
I am off out to the sheep paddock to see if we have had any more lambs born,
so bye for now,
Vx
 


21 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

Cograts on the two sets of twins, now regarding bringing them, around here, the farmers bring there sheep in for lambing and they are kept in until the weather settles, we raised bottle lambs last year, they were kept under heat for a week or so but when they were able they went outside, but we didnt have other sheep for them to mix with, as cute as they were, cuddles were off bounds, they of course associated us with food every time hey saw us, noisy little sods.

Sol said...

You have achieved so much there. The half barn looks lovely

Jean said...

Lambs are so cute, it must be hard to resist cuddling them.

Vera said...

DAWN, we have never kept our sheep in unless it was their choice to stay in the barn, but then we are way down in SW France, and we do have warmer weather than you do! In fact our small flock has hunkered down in their barn today although it has been warm here (13C). No doubt when the temperatures do the next sharp dip they will decide to all go outside!

SOL, we still haven't painted the ceiling of the Half Barn though!

The Broad said...

I don't think there is any living critter cuter than lambs...

Vera said...

JEAN, they are cute, but we have to be mindful of them becoming attached to us, which is not good for either them or us!

THE BROAD, you are right......today I spent ages watching the lambs starting to realise that their legs can do things, like skip and prance!

Janice said...

Vera, it's so nice to see all the pictures to see how far you have come. I think we need a new pictorial guide around the house and property to see all that you have done. Yes, the lambs are so cute, it must be hard to keep an emotional distance from them.

Vera said...

JANICE, thanks for suggesting a pictorial guide, and I just might get one done now that things are quite slow here. As for the lambs, it is easy for me to keep an emotional distance from them because I do not have much to do with them, but it is more difficult for my partner, because he is the carer of them so can get upset when things are not well with those little ones!

Rhodesia said...

Wow how thing have changed for you seeing it like that.
Our neighbour has quite a few lambs already and they are out in the field the next day though they can go in the barn if they want. He is single and must have about 80 pregnant ewes so he is up all hours, hard work! Take care Diane

Vera said...

DIANE, our sheep can go in and out as they please as well, but I am glad we don't have 80 ewes to look after, just five!

Mama Pea said...

What more exciting and rewarding (and busier!) time on the homestead than when the baby animals start coming! Absolutely loved that picture of the 2015 lone orphan lamb following your partner back to the flock.

Nothing like pictures to remind us (or show others) the tremendous amount of time, work and energy you've put into your place. Loved seeing them.

Vera said...

MAMA PEA, looking back at past photos also reminds us of how far we have come! We also feel blessed that we have these lambs arriving as well!

Cro Magnon said...

I've seen a few Lambs around; it gives us hope that Spring will eventually arrive!

local alien said...

You have come a long way! The pictures tell a great story...from caravans to half barn and learning to look after those adorable lambs. You can pay yourselves on the back!! Pioneers

Vera said...

CRO MAGNON, having lambs does make Spring feel more imminent, even though they are often born in the worst weather of the winter!

LOCAL ALIEN, I have felt like a pioneer sometimes, especially when we lived in caravans and I had to fetch water from the cold water tap, which was alright in the summer, but not so enjoyable on winter mornings!

Coco said...

Congratulations on the new arrivals! Adorable.

I second the request for more progress pics. I should do the same thing, but the photos are spread across 3 laptops and 2 hard drives.

DUTA said...

Lambs - such cute creatures! And their wool is priceless in winter. We don't have it, and buying woolen items from abroad is quite expensive, but keeps me warm and well.
Anyway, it's because sweet critters like lambs that I meet people who love their domestic animals more than their fellowmen.

Vera said...

COCO, Thanks for the nudge about getting some progress photos posted on the blog!

DUTA, lambs are the cutest creatures, and we feel very privileged to be able to have a flock of sheep which produce lambs every year.

Kev Alviti said...

Love putting the sheep where you did the first year - good thinking!
My lambing isn't until April and I'm not looking forward to the late nights and long walks around the field 10 times a day!

Vera said...

KEV, we don't organise the lambing time here, but let the ram and ewes come together when nature intends! Most years we start lambing in December, so ours are late this year, possibly due to the weather. I am glad that we have got our flock numbers down though..... just six ewes and the ram...which is enough for us to manage!

Kerry said...

When you look back at old photos it makes you realize how much you've achieved, even though it doesn't feel like it at the time.