So lambing season is over for another year. We’ve had a lovely lot of lambs this year, despite the challenges of the season. This was the first year we produced Shetland lambs, and I have to admit, they weren’t easy at all. Perhaps it was because all but one of our six ewes were first-timers (gimmers), but it seemed they threw as many problems as they could at us: twin lamb disease, difficult births, rejected lambs (giving us the first bottle lambs we’ve had in years), and poor milk production in the ewes. I’m really hoping that they’ll have sorted all this out by next year!
The only Shetland who was totally straighforward was Alex, the last to lamb. She surprised us all with this lovely little ewe lamb, who appeared as if by magic one afternoon. Alex was the perfect mum to her, so this is one ewe we’ll definitely keep in the breeding flock.
The ewes and lambs are now all out in the paddocks, eating as much of the sweet spring grass as they can. They were shorn recently too, so we don’t have to worry so much about them overheating, or getting fly strike.
I love watching the lambs playing during the long spring evenings. They seem to have a lot of fun while they’re learning about what it means to be a sheep. Here’s Tweed, one of the Ryeland lambs, rallying the troups it seems.
It’ll be fun to see all of these little ones grow up. I know the Ryeland breed pretty well now, and can already tell that we have at least a couple of lambs with excellent conformation (possibly prize-winning, if I can get my act together and actually enter some shows with them). But Shetland lambs are new to me, so I’ve yet to find out how their baby fleeces and shapes transform into adulthood. I’ll keep you posted with updates here as they grow up.