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Chris Galley

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Monday 6 April: End of lambing

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Somewhat earlier than expected, I’m fairly close to finishing off lambing, I’m now down to just a
handful of ewes who haven’t yet given birth to their lambs, and all but one of them is an experienced mother. So the pressure is off.

Except, of course, for the orphan lambs, well the abandoned lambs would be slightly more accurate. This year I only have 3 of them at this point, some years I’ve had 7, which is a bit of a handful and requires a special feeding bucket to avoid getting mugged everytime I go near the barn. Of these 3 lambs, one of them – the small boy lamb in the middle – wasn’t actually abandoned, the ewe had a difficult labour and didn’t look able to cope with twins, so I made the executive decision to take him off her hands. ¬†Economically bottle feeding lambs isn’t a good outcome, the cost of care and powdered milk generally exceeds the all important “margin”. But it’s an essential part of lambing. Abandoned lambs really knit (!) together, they go everywhere together, sleep alongside each other and develop a strong bond.

It appears I’m not the only one who has been getting down with the lambs this weekend. I wouldn’t advocate feeding a lamb in that posture for too long, accidents can happen! Also it is best the lamb is on its feet during or the chest gets contracted, with a risk of coughing up the milk the wrong way. However to be fair to the Prime Minister, I did see some other photos of him feeding a lamb, yes one lamb, correctly over the thigh. (Photo copyright: PA)

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