23 August 2020

Last Night

This evening with the pet sheep was a special one. The following day I was going to separate the ewes from their lambs. It's a job I always put off for as long as I can but Charles in particular was starting to become a nuisance for the ewes (Cleland was as well, just not quite to the same extent). The final straw was when I saw him hanging around Esther a little too much. I'm trying to avoid Esther breeding so he had to go.

As well as this, Rosie was thin. All of the ewes had devoted a lot of their energy to their lambs and it showed, and I was very proud of them, but they needed a break. Especially as next year I plan to have lambs earlier. 

In short, it was time. I went out with my camera for one last time with everyone together.

Immediately I saw Esther with Charles.

Charles, Heather's lamb, is a whopper. The biggest of the ram lambs by far.

It wasn't just the last night for the lambs to be with their mums, it was also the last night for this imposter of a ewe who had broken into the field.

My sweet Carol. Penny's ewe lamb. Carol was an unexpected surprise this year. I treat all of my pets' lambs the same - I leave them alone and let them choose if they want to come over to me. Andy, Margo's lamb from a couple of years ago, had been the only one to do so until Carol. She loves getting scratches. I hope it continues as she grows up.

Colin, Olive's ram lamb. Olive was my biggest surprise of the year - I was fully prepared for her to reject her lambs, based on her family history, but instead she was devoted mother. Colin was a very cute baby and has matured beautifully.

I'm so proud of you, Olive!

Look at that handsome man.

Colin's sister Chloe is another special girl. She got very sick early in the summer and I was sure I was going to lose her, but she made an amazing recovery and now she's just as stunning as ever.

Charles didn't want me to forget about him.



Charles and Colin.

Clementine, Rosie's "plainer looking" ewe lamb. In my opinion she's a stunner! After Rosie lost her first lamb, a little ewe that looked exactly like her, I was hoping that she would have a ewe for me. Last year she surprised me with Barnaby (I didn't even notice she was pregnant!), and this year she gave me two gorgeous girls.

One of them was a surprise too! I'm so very, very glad that Clover is a ewe. She's like a pedigree Zwartbles. She might fool a judge or two.

Rosie is my best ewe. She adores her lambs and gives them the greatest care. She's always talking to them. I knew parting ways would be hard for her but she was still letting the girls (who were the same height as her!) drink. She needed a break.

Clementine and Clover did some posing for me.

Rosie. She was keeping an eye on them.

The girls.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the field, Caldwell was enjoying the grass. Caldwell is one of the luckiest lambs I have had for many years. He was on the path that led to market, and then Connie's best friend Edith died, and Connie was alone. I had Connie living next to the house for a few weeks but it wasn't a permanent solution. She needed to get out to the fields and be a sheep. Caldwell was the natural choice to accompany his sister into the big wide world. The two now stick together like glue and there's no separating them. When Connie had to go to the vet to get treatment for orf, Caldwell went too and got squeezed, and with that he is a more permanent member of the family. I am secretly delighted for him. I love the little guy.

Tilly followed me over to where Caldwell was grazing. She's still very clingy, but if there's anything in it she is a little more independent. Just a little.

Caldwell's just fun to photograph.

Tilly, realising that I wasn't going to be paying her much attention, got back to grazing.

Sweet wee Connie. If you look very closely you can see a bit of the orf that was left. She got it very bad, poor thing. Thankfully as I write this it's all gone.

The pets' field needs something done with it. Maybe topped? Cut for silage? Not sure yet.

The ewes aren't complaining for now anyway.

So that was the last night that the lambs had with their mums. As usual, Flora and her lambs didn't bother posing for the camera but they were there too!

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