Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep

Waiting For Lambs

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I don’t like this bit. I don’t like the waiting. I get restless and anxious. I always feel better once the first lambs are safely with us. For now though, we wait.

The ewes are fed up. They slowly waddle their way over at feeding time and only move once they are absolutely sure we are actually going to feed them and haven’t just popped by the field for something else. They spend some time grazing, moving slowly and deliberately and if you watch closely you can see the lambs kicking inside them. A lot of the time they simply lie down, chewing the cud, but mostly just being fed up.

Today was the first possible lambing day. It is however quite likely that the first one was a miss and she’ll actually be last in which case Tuesday is the first lambing day. Our number 6 – the ewe with the prolapse is doing fine. While the prolapse seemed to be popping back itself each time, it was happening quite a lot so in the end we made a harness out of baling twine and that seems to have done the trick. I was a little worried that it wasn’t tight enough but it seems to be working. You can’t even see it on her really – not unless you know it’s there anyway. She’s one of 2 ewes due Tuesday.

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We’re ready, well as ready as we can be. We’ve had a bag with towels, colostrum replacer and bottles in the car for a couple of weeks now and flasks of hot water as well as hot water bottles to hand when we’ve done the early morning and late evening checks. We’ve got a box in the car with glucose and calcium for the ewes if they should struggle, we also have antibiotics and painkillers for the ewes just in case. More bottles, lamb macs in case the weather turns nasty (yep, little raincoats for lambs; we were a bit embarrassed when we first bought them but were assured that we weren’t being soft and that many farmers round her do use them) and other bits and pieces that we might need are all there ready to go. We used to have a bag for all this with useful dividers and pockets so you could find things quickly but the strap broke. We’ve just ordered a backpack which should arrive tomorrow and most of the stuff should fit in there. Easier to just have one go to bag that you can grab while still half a sleep – it also means we have everything even if we’re not in the car.

We’re also ready at home. More bottles, more colostrum replacer and powdered milk – just in case. We are of course hoping we won’t need any of it but sod’s law dictates that if we don’t get it ready we’ll need it and it will all be stressful and a bit of a panic.

And now we wait.

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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