We might be on a farm, and about to launch into lambing season ourselves (well, my brother in law because the OH isn’t a sheep fan, so only has cattle himself), but now N is older he goes out without me on the farm with his dad. So to get any photos and evidence of what he’s been up to is non-existent because the OH doesn’t do photos. Especially not when he’s working.
So when I spotted that my old secondary school had a lambing weekend at their farm, I thought I’d take N along. On the Saturday I’d been volunteering at the NCT nearly new sale, also held at the school, and it had been a beautifully warm day, so the crowds at the lambing had been pretty big. Sunday was a bit dreary so I thought it wouldn’t be too busy if we got there just after opening.
Boy was I wrong. Even though we arrived 5 minutes after opening, there were already lots of people there. As well as the lambing, there were other animals either due to give birth, or with new babies having already arrived. I couldn’t get a photo of the tiny piglets under their red lamp but they were tiny next to their giant sow mother.
The goats were pretty much ignoring everyone which makes a difference. I remember in our first year at school in our Environmental Science lessons (basically farming and agriculture with the teacher telling us gory stories of teens on the farm having done stupid things) spending weeks having to look after the goat kids each week. Weighing them, feeding and taking them for walks to the field. Nightmare because even when young they wanted to do their own thing.
The cows and calves looked pretty well looked after. Many were Aberdeen Angus, but the deep red brown of this cow was really different. Not a colour of the cows we have on our farm.
I was surprised that N didn’t want to stay and look at the cows for longer. His dad would be very disappointed at how much he enjoys the sheep instead! The lambing sheds were pretty packed, so I didn’t really have the space to take photos. I’m glad I only took my compact and phone rather than my mirrorless one.
The lambs of course were gorgeous. Around the lambing shed there were notices telling you what or why the sheep had what they did. So the reason for one ewe having a harness on was because she had a prolapse. And the ewe in a ‘crate’ while the lamb fed from her was because it was early days of fostering to make sure she didn’t attack the lamb put on her.
This photo isn’t that clear unfortunately, but I still love that it looks like the lamb’s kissing its mum.
We didn’t see any lambs being born although there was one lamb still with its birthing muck over it trying to stand up. Really cute, if wrinkly. I’m sure N will get to see lots this Spring when he’s down at his cousin’s house and their lambing barn. I’ve not seen many spontaneous births take place with sheep, but when I was dating the OH way back, he did get me to put on a lambing glove and pull out the lamb because the ewe was struggling. Definitely an experience, although I’m not sure I’d want to to it all the time. Way too much hard work and too many late nights.
Check out N in his new overalls. A bargain £1.50 from the nearly new sale the day before, and great for a spare pair.
Afterwards, we wandered up through the farm to see what else was around. The answer was not much – a bit of machinery, a closed off picnic area, and some geese. Geese used to roam the school, and would terrorise the children so it was funny seeing them shut in their pen.
N wanted to see all the fields (I had to explain that most were playing fields not animal fields) so we walked the long way round the school back to the car. I showed him the library ‘Why’s the school got a library?’, the home ec block ‘they cook here?’, and my old tutor room ‘why are the chairs on the tables?’. The questions never ended. It’s weird to think he’ll probably go to the school as myself and his dad did years ago (him longer ago than me!).
I’m not sure I’d take N to another lambing weekend, but he’ll hopefully spend enough time over with his uncle during lambing time on the farm. As it is, N seems to think all the sheep are his after a lorry driver delivering sheep bought at market, turned up and told N all the sheep were his!
I’m linking up to Country Kids at Coombe Mill.