Overheard at Grange Farm…
What a month April has been here! Not only have we been blessed with lighter nights, we have also been very busy lambing.
Once lambing starts, it is all hands on deck, and Hayley and Matthew have been taking it in turns to keep a watchful eye on the sheep at all times. 24 hours a day! Hayley has been staying here in the farm house, so she is always available on site, should she be required. Unfortunately, lack of sleep can make anyone a bit cranky and both Gary and Graham got the wrath of Hayley the other morning when they came stomping through the house and woke her up…!
Before the start of lambing, we got Shaun to install a camera which they can use to watch the ewes from a distance, so as not to disturb any when they are in the early stages of lambing.
They are looking for ewes who look uneasy – they may be pacing the pen, lying down and getting up again, looking around to their stomach, and finally turning their upper lip up whilst raising their head into the air.
Once they have started straining, we expect to see a lamb within an hour or two. Throughout this careful monitoring, we can determine whether the ewe is having difficulty or whether she is just being a bit lazy! Most of the sheep are capable of lambing on their own; however, sometimes they require some assistance. One of the biggest issues, where intervention is normally required, is if the lamb is breach (presented backwards). It is important to get the lamb out quickly if this happens, as if the umbilical cord breaks before they have their head out then they will likely drown as they have to take breaths inside the mother where all the birthing fluid is. A quick rub down with some straw, and a swing to clear the mucus from their airways and they are normally ready to face the world.
After a few days in the nursery pen (our ewes are kept separate with her lamb/s) to form a bond, they are then numbered up and taken out to the field. If the weather isn’t cold AND wet, then this is the best place for them as it is what nature intended. There is no better sight than seeing hordes of lambs running the lengths of the field, frolicking and skipping with their pals.
Although lambing does take over the farm, it is business as usual in the bakery. They are currently busy devising new ideas and recipes to send down to the shops. Obviously, we must ensure that the products taste just right and luckily for us (maybe not our figures) we get to help him out with this. Keep an eye out for these arriving in our shops soon…