Saturday, 2 April 2016

Rameses, Son of Rambo... or The Rejected Lamb

What a day Thursday was! Photos have now been added to the post.
But all wasn't finished just because I'd written my blog post. At some time about one o'clock in the morning ewe number 3 went into labour properly. I was asleep in bed when Sue shouted up the stairs that it had come out. I had already had a really long day, but by the time I made it down to the stable things had developed further.

The third lamb from ewe number 2 was being rejected by it's adoptive mum. She was butting it away from her really rather violently. We just didn't understand. She had seemed quite happy with it for several hours, licking it, feeding it alongside her own and generally being a good aunty. But now the poor little lamb was clearly at risk.

To cut a fairly stressful story short, I stayed up all night keeping an eye on that lamb and trying to get one of the ewes to accept it, but at 6 o'clock on a very crisp morning I penned him separately and, after lying awake thinking about the day and that little lamb, I finally grabbed about 20 minutes sleep.

As we will now be feeding him every 4 hours and effectively have to take over the role of his mum, we have decided to name him. He is Rameses, son of Rambo.

Come 8 o'clock yesterday morning we were heading off to buy a bag of lamblac, formula milk for lambs.

Oh, I forgot to say that ewe number 3 had another one, so that was six lambs from three ewes in just one day.

It took quite a while for these two to get strong enough to feed.
I had to reduce the size of the pen as mum was inexperienced
and wasn't making it easy for them to find her udders.
The orphan lamb is laying in the hay,
but shortly after this I had to separate it.

Sue has taken on feeding duties for the moment - she really is very good with the animals- and all lambs are now doing well. They are a delight to watch as they gaily bounce around the pen on their gangly legs... when they're not sleeping.
I've managed to get back to gardening duties, spending most of yesterday rotavating while the soil is workable. I got the broad beans sown as well as broadcast sowing a corridor of marigolds and a sunflower patch. If it works it should look stunning come summer time.
The beds are ready for the early spuds to go in today and for planting out the onion sets. The soil felt warm yesterday despite an icy start so it's all systems go.
The veg patch early this morning.
The chickens have been banished from the veg plot, but the ducks and guineafowl are free to continue picking off the pests.

Yesterday was 1st April. Last year I seem to remember mischievously writing a blog post about growing gooseberry bushes by planting gooseberries the year before!
I promise there were no such shenanigans going on yesterday. My post about raising gookeys was all true. Honest!.

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