Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

We’re outside!

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Catch up Blog Number 1

It has been a busy few days so I will try and catch up on events in a series of blog posts. I don’t want to try and cram everything into one post – far too many cute pictures to share.

It is tempting to keep the lambs inside for too long. So tempting. They’re warm and dry in there. We can check them easily, their mum can’t walk off without them… But, ewes are not good in sheds, particularly not on their own. At some point they need to come out of the shed and we just have to trust the ewes that they know what they are doing – and of course they do – far better than we do!

Letting Stumpy and her twins out was a little nervewracking. However, her maternal instincts had kicked in over night and she had realised that whether she liked it or not she was now responsible for the two little things in the pen with her. The lambs were warm and had full bellies. Also, last Thursday was a gorgeously sunny day and it was actually warmer outside than in the shed. At lunchtime I decided it was time. I waited for Mum to arrive so she could see them before I left them out and then we opened the pen and went to sit and wait. We sat and waited, and waited and then waited a bit longer. Stumpy was staying put.

Some of the ewes and all of the gimmers went to see her and the black faced ewe we have was very odd – she plonked herself down opposite the shed door against the fence and just kept bleating. After a good hour she got up, walked to the door, looked in and walked away. Very strange.

We went to feed the rams and came back and still Stumpy kept her lambs inside. A couple of times the little ram was nearly out but was quickly called back. We waited a bit more. My concern had been that she would run off and leave them and that was clearly not going to happen so we decided to leave her for a while and go have some food. After our lunch we went back and they were out. The lambs were trying out their legs and Stumpy was grazing. Success.


Now for the scary part – would they be ok over night? Would she take them back into the shed? I arrived for the bed time check and I couldn’t find the little girl. Stumpy was grazing close to the path by a Hawthorn tree and the ram lamb was with her. I walked up and down the path with my torch shining in the field, nothing. I checked the shed, nothing. I walked towards Stumpy in the field, still just the one lamb. Then she took a few steps towards the tree and started nuzzling it. Of course she wasn’t actually nuzzling the tree but her other lamb. She had got herself tucked inbetween tree and fence and I’d been looking too far into the field to see her. I walked back round and from the path gave her a little nudge – she was warm and got to her feet for a drink.

Number 6 was with them by the tree- and odd place for her to be so more lambs in the early hours seemed likely.

Author: Jess Guth

Dr Jess Guth is a Senior Lecturer in Law. She blogs at jessguth.com She also doesn't really run - reallynotarunner.com

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