crouchley hall farm

  • Ladies in Waiting

    We've reached that strange time of the shepherd's year.

    You know all the ewes were successfully mated and appeared to have been safely in lamb back in the autumn. Since then you've been keeping them jogging quietly along with hay and some mineral licks to be sure they have all they need.

    But now the start of lambing is seven weeks away and you look at the flock and at this time every year I ask myself - are these sheep REALLY going to have lambs ?

    It must be a natural reaction. I was speaking to a much larger sheep farmer recently who gets the same sort of feeling of uncertainty - and his flock have been ultrasound scanned to confirm pregnancies !

    The sheep don't help of course. Lambs do something like 75% of their development in the last 6 weeks of the pregnancy. It's a very clever natural arrangement to minimise a pregnant ewe's demand for nutrition during the lean days of winter but it does mean that they don't change to look at for months !

    Next week I'll start feeding them. Just a little at first and then building up every week, to support the ewes as their lambs do all that growing.

    I know that by the middle of March the ewes will clearly be in lamb and their udders will be starting to swell but at this stage, well . . . . . .

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