Sunday was one of those magical days that spring up and surprise us occasionally! It was a beautiful day and we decided to go and walk the dogs over at Waterstein and visit Linda who is in the middle of lambing. Her Suffolk sheep are kept in over winter and so lamb earlier than those out on the hill. As we arrived, Linda called to us from the barn to say that a ewe expecting twins had just gone into labour.
This was going to be a first, I was going to witness my first lambs being born. Unfortunately, the first lamb was in trouble and wasn’t coming out head first. Linda helped the lamb by rearranging the birthing position and I had the amazing responsibility of grabbing hold of the legs and pulling her out, clearing the airway and helping to ensure that she was breathing. My very first lamb and it was not until after the lamb was born that I commented that how wonderful that the ewe’s number was 222 which was the date of my birthday, 22 February! It was obviously meant to be. She was a big girl, with beautiful markings and the first of a twinl! The second followed 20 minutes later, this time a healthy boy also with amazing markings.
The lambs are all different, taking on a lot of the ewe’s markings but the only ones that they keep are on their legs and head. So even if born completely black, which some are, within a few weeks their fleece is changing and they will end up white.
It wasn’t until later, after a coffee and watching Linda feed a couple of lambs that weren’t doing so well that we returned and noticed that another ewe was about to give birth. She wasn’t due for another three days though and this was her first! As I said earlier though, it was obviously meant to be because the number on this ewe was 65 and that is the year of my birth!
This ewe gave birth very quickly with hardly a gap between the first and the second and luckily didn’t need much intervention. The lambs were slightly on the small side but perfectly formed and when we left the ewe and lambs were doing well.