Wednesday, 7th March 2018

Day 20

Lambs: Lost count

Apologies for the radio silence, it’s been a hectic few days.

Lambing has ramped up in the last few days, keeping Iona and I busy with a constant cycle of lambings, mucking out, bedding up and turning out. As soon as we’ve caught up with ourselves, the buggers all kick off again and we’re back to square one!

Have lost a couple of sheep over the last few days, which has had me feeling pretty low. I know I did everything I could, but still find it difficult not to be hard on myself.

Also had a surprise trip in to Kirkcudbright on Tuesday afternoon, lying in the back of the van with my hand firmly wedged in a sheep’s vagina trying to stop it all ripping or falling out during a particularly bad lambing.

3 big triplets all trying to come out of the same hole at the same time is never a good idea. Vets got one out alive and the ewe is fine, other than being very tender.

It’s not all been total disaster though. The weather has warmed up considerably and we’ve even had a couple of spells of much needed rain, which has the place looking a bit greener.

There are lots of healthy ewes and lambs enjoying life out in the fields.

And for every difficult lambing, we’re having plenty more easy ones, with bonny lambs out and up and on the teat in no time.

I may be losing the odd battle, but overall, we’re still (just about) winning the war…



Saturday, 3rd March 2018

Day 16

Lambs: 4

Woke up to more snow. Thankfully, the day brightened up and the snow showers had passed by lunch time.

Shed was just about at capacity, so had a good clear out while the weather was dry. A handful of trips with the new trailer later and we were left with just two ewes in the pens.

Just need to have a good muck out and bed them up fresh before any more lamb.

Two lambers this evening, including a Lleyn triplet who produced two lovely big lambs and a mummified one. Nice way to end the day…

Friday, 2nd March 2018

Day 15

Lambs: 5

Weather a bit better today.

Still bloody freezing, water troughs are still freezing in the lambing shed, but it has warmed up slightly. As annoying as the icy conditions have been, we’ve been very lucky to avoid the nightmarish blizzards that have affected others across the country.

Take advantage of the improving weather to get some lambs out in the fields. Some have been stuck in for far longer than I’d like, so it’s great to see them on grass.


Spend an hour catching up on recording, numbering and ringing lambs in the shed. The weather looks to be decent again tomorrow, so hope to have a good clear out of the shed before the sleet and rain comes in next week.


Slab of ice from water trough

Quiet day on the lambing front, with just a set of twins and a triplets in the shed.

Girls in the field thankfully keeping their legs crossed.

Thursday, March 1st 2018

Day 14

Lambs: 3

St Davids Day today.

Have been really missing Wales over the last year or so and found today pretty miserable and I’ve been feeling quite down.

The weather is still horrible, bitterly cold with icy winds and snow flurries, but we don’t have things anywhere near as bad as others around the country, so have to just be grateful and try to be positive.



Solway Shepherd’s Welsh contingent on a icy St Davids Day

Was meant to have a CBT session today, which I was looking forward to, but was snowed off, which hasn’t helped my mood. Could have really done with a good vent.

Had a set of twins born out in the field during a particularly wet and windy spell. Found the ewe and her bonny ewe lamb tucked away down in the corner, with a second lamb being pecked at by a buzzard. Nothing quite as demoralising as a frozen, newborn lamb with its eyes pecked out. What a bloody waste.

Ewe was a bit unruly, so half chased/half led her in and penned her up with the remaining lamb.

Lambs already out in the fields are doing ok thought. Mothers are doing a good job of keeping them fed and warm, tucked in against the dykes. Occasionally catch sight of a few of them prancing around the field, which lifts the spirits.

Popped my head in the shed after feeding the dogs at tea time. One of the Lleyn ewes has had a lamb, which seems a fitting way to celebrate Dydd Dewi Sant. Second lamb decided coming head first with no legs was a fantastic idea, so gave her a helping hand. Another nice set of Charollais x Beltex sired twins.

Last job of the day was bottle feeding the couple of pet lambs we now have. Took a second one of the quad and another off a triplet and built them their own pen complete with heat lamp. They seem happy enough, so am expecting a very positive TripAdvisor review. Pair of them guzzled a couple of hundred mls of Lamlac after my midnight check of the shed and I headed for bed.

Weather is meant to be improving tomorrow, so hopefully can get some lambs out in the fields before I run out of room.

Glad to see the back of today.


Wednesday, 28th February 2018

Day 13

Lambs: 6

It was a case of unlucky number 13 today, as The Beast From The East arrived.

Luckily, we seemed to avoid the worst of the snow that seemed to batter the rest of the country but it was absolutely freezing, to the point where the water was freezing in the troughs and buckets in the shed.

Iona brought a lamber in from the field who had thought it would be a great idea to give birth in the weather. One lamb didn’t survive, while the other’s ears were frozen solid.

Was worried about the lambs already out in the fields, but I needn’t have bothered. They truly are phenomenally hardy little buggers. A few days old but still gambolling and playing around the fields in -5.

Pens are filling up quickly and at risk of running out of space, so built a hardening pen for some of the older lambs. Weather is too shit to turn anything out, which is both worrying and disheartening.

A positive of the day was that one of my homebred Lleyn ewes has lambed, giving birth to a nice set of Charollais x Beltex sired twins. She is the first of the Lleyn ewes I bred in 2016 to do so and it was well worth the wait. All the Lleyns have been put to the Charollais x Beltex ram this year to help bring in some money to help re invest my stock.


Just about keeping on top of our Mules with twin lamb epidemic. They’ve got their own little hospital wing in the lambing shed and are getting a bit of extra TLC.

Lost the Mule quad today. She finally gave up the ghost despite best efforts to keep her going. I really hate losing sheep. It’s something I thought would get easier over time as I got used to it, but I’ve definitely found the total opposite.

It’s disheartening, I take it personally and feel like I’ve let them down.

Just trying to keep my chin up and telling myself it could be worse. Think it’s going to be a long couple of days.

Tuesday, 27th February 2018

Day 12

Lambs: 12

The busiest day in the shed so far, starting with a set of triplets at about half 12.

Found myself bedding the shed at 1am while giving the new lambs some time to get started. Topped them all up with some extra colostrum and headed to bed about 2.

Back up at 6 to more lambs. The busy days always come when you’ve had the least sleep.

Ended up having more sheep lamb in one day than in the previous 12 combined.

Typical that they pick up just as the weather is about to turn…

Monday, 26th February 2018

DAY 11 

Lambs: 2

Iona was on morning shift but came to get me at about 6 to help with a lambing Mule. She was a single, so handily we were able to take one of the lambs off the Quad and foster it on to the Mule ewe. Hogtied the quad lamb and covered it in in blood and fluid and presented it to the Mule who accepted it gladly.

Found a lamber out in the field for a second day in a row.

For those of you that have followed my blog or social media accounts for a while, you may be familiar with Suffolky Susan. She was a pet lamb that I brought home for Iona in 2015 and has been a big part of our flock ever since.


Well today, Susan became a grandmother. Suffolky Susan Jr (SuJu for short) was her first lamb, born back in 2016. She had quite happily fired out a nice single lamb and followed it all the way back across two fields and in to the shed. Can’t ask for much better than that.

Stripped some colostrum off SuJu and gave it to the lamb to warm get it going. It’s a ewe lamb, so the dynasty continues…