When we decided to move last summer, we spent a lot of time discussing whether we could lamb or not. Aside from ensuring the welfare of the sheep, there were all sort of logistical considerations to overcome. In the end, we decided it would be best to skip a year. We were disappointed but at the same time, philosophical as we knew it would be for the best.
Then, just before we were about to move, we spotted a post in the Ryeland Flock Book Society facebook page – for sale, coloured ryeland ewes in lamb. They were not cheap, but it was a chance to lamb. And they were in Yorkshire, not close, but not too far away from Auchenstroan either. We decided to get 3. We duly paid a deposit and arranged to collect them after we had moved. They are not due till late April so we had plenty of time.
The day before collection, Nicole hitched the trailer to Landy and set off to Harbro for lambing supplies. Of course, they asked her to reverse into the shed, a maneouvre that, by all accounts, didn’t go quite to plan. However, back at Auchenstroan, undaunted, Nicole drove back and forth with the trailer in order to move all our hay out of the lambing shed. By the end of it, she was a dab hand at trailer driving.
So, the Friday following our move, after our marathon journeys up the motorways, we headed off with dogs and trailer to Yorkshire. It was a dreich, windy day and not that pleasant on the A66 as we crossed the Pennines. The A1(M) was a bit busy too, but eventually, we found ourselves at the Millbridge Farm. A nice place with all sorts of animals, sheep, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens, all milling about.
Of course, the first thing he said was “reverse your trailer up here”. Basically, through gate, round the corner, past some farm machinery, up a narrowing lane avoiding a hay stack and up to a smallish gate. I looked at Nicole aware of her new found mastery of reversing trailers. She just smiled and said “good luck” or words to that effect. Well, unbelievably, I managed it. It seems we are both becoming more adept at maneuvering trailers.
Anyway, we met all his coloured ryelands and picked our three. We have a triplet, a double and a single. We loaded them up, dealt with the paperwork and off we headed, back to Auchenstroan. The weather was even more dreich and windy on the way back and a bit nerve racking up in the hills. Nevertheless, we made it back, Nicole driving the second half giving me a much needed rest.
And the girls arrived safe and sound and were coaxed into their temporary home, the lambing shed. And they are quite content. We are giving them plenty of attention and handling and they are starting to enjoy it. Ursi, the eldest, is already quite precocious, Vi started out very shy, but now approaches us happily as does Vera who started out most perturbed by the dogs, but has now realised they pose no threat. And lambing is on for this year – yippee!