As the ghastly winter rolls on towards spring, lambing time is fast approaching. Our first lambs are due on 4th of March (give or take). But the weather presented us with a dilemma.
Sheep like it outside. But they, like the rest of us, can get a bit tired of the wet, especially if it gets through their fleece and onto their skin. Generally, sheep are brought into the lambing shed about 2 weeks before the first lambs are due. But we were not sure whether to bring them in early due to the constant rain. If we brought them in too early, might they get bored?
Sheep are delicate creatures at the best of times, so any stress this close to lambing can be a bad thing. Sadly, our hand was forced when one of the ewes miscarried about 4 weeks before she was due. The vet suggested we could bring them in at nights until closer to lambing.
So, it was rubber gloves on, disinfectant solution prepared and the shed got a thorough clean. Once it had dried, we put down a thick bed of straw and set up the hay feeders. We brought them in early and they were ever so happy. Dry feet (the paddock was very wet and muddy in places), out of the wind and rain and a plentiful supply of food and water.
Then, a quick trip to the local Agricentre for a trough for their high protein pre lambing nuts and we were all set.
And now, they are happy as larry in their shed and getting lots of attention. Mind you, at nuts feeding time, it can turn into something of a scrum (see the picture!) as you try to spread the nuts into the trough. They like their sheep nuts!
And for us, it’s fingers crossed that things will go well from here.