Lambs, Linda and the shearling...

Emma Heseltine - 31 March 2013

More lambs all over the place this week, we have taken quite a lot down to the hay meadow. They are transported one ewe and her lambs at a time in the quad trailer, a little ewe taxi. I love going down there on an evening to give the ewes their dinner. The lambs at that time of day are full of frolics, jumping about, climbing and racing up and down the field, burning off energy before bed time. It must be spring if the lambs are jumping.

Hayley has had her calf. We have only just got her back home in time, according to our chart she is not due until the beginning of April but so was Anne and she had her calf last week. It the first heifer and gets named Linda by one of our students. It’s a feisty little thing, running all over the place when we try and bring them up the paddocks near the house. She ends up running across the water meadows so we take them up through the paddocks past the bees, its pretty boggy out near the ponds but we squelch on through.

We have a shearling that is having some difficulties. Her waters have gone but that appears to be it, nothing else is happening. We get her in the pens,  it’s her first lambs so she’s jumpy as hell, but we need to examine her to see what’s going on. It seems like she has a bit of ring womb, not full ring womb but certainly things are not progressing as they should. The vet comes and has a look at her, its time to get the lambs out. Some massaging is required in order to get her to open up enough to get the lambs out. The vet thinks that her hormones haven’t quite kicked in, which is why she is having difficulty. After much massaging, some lambing ropes and a lot of pulling two lambs are produced. The shearling looks a bit shocked. She gets a couple of shots, a pain killer and an anti-inflammatory, she will be sore and its good to make her as comfortable as we can, she’s got two strapping lambs to look after. I check on her later and the two lambs are full of milk and our shearling looks content. Good work Mrs!  

By Easter Sunday we are down to ten ewes left to lamb, it seems to have flown by and we have a nice gang of lambs. Today we have an Easter egg hunt and lots of local families come and roam the fields looking for eggs. The sun is shining for a change; it’ll be a good day.  

Emma completed a degree in Creative Imaging at Huddersfield University before working for a photography studio as an editor. Taking a break from the office world she worked in outdoor education for several years, climbing, abseiling, shooting, trampolining and even life-guarding with children of all ages. When Emma found out about the apprenticeship scheme with the Soil Association it seemed the perfect chance to do something worthwhile and fulfilling. After much searching and badgering farms in the North of England she found a position with Hadrian Organics and started in July 2011. So far it is living up to her expectations, every day is a new challenge and every day is different.

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