And so we head into year five of Lambcam. Hopefully we're beginning to get the hang of it now. Our numbers are still low - when my father ran this farm we had between four and five hundred ewes at any one time, which meant lambing was very busy indeed. I can just about manage to write two books a year and handle fifty ewes, so that's what we aim to keep the flock at.
Technically last tupping season we should have got rid of Marshall the Romney Ram, as he would have been serving his daughters. As it happens though, the flock split quite neatly between his offspring and the older ewes who are not related to him. We procured another Romney Ram, Will, from a neighbour, and split the flock into two groups of twenty-five. After three weeks, the two Romneys were taken out, all the ewes brought together again and Paul, our ageing Suffolk Ram put in as a sweeper. He covered one of the fifty ladies, so one poor lamb is going to look a little different to all the rest.
At scanning, we had all the ewes pregnant, eight with triplets, four with singles and the remainder bearing twins. Twins is the ideal, as mum only has two teats and so struggles to raise three lambs. Singles grow quickly, but you only have one of them to sell. Knowing all but one of the ewes were covered in just three weeks, we hope that the lambing season itself will last not much longer. According to those who know these things, the first lamb should be due on March 27th, but some of the girls are beginning to bag up a bit now, so there may be some early births.
This really will be Marshall's last year on the job, as there won't be many of the original ewes and Mitt's daughters for him to run with. He's given us some very good breeding ewes though, so if anyone wants to buy an underused Romney tup with good temperament and who produces fine offspring, give me a shout.
Don't try to count them. You'll just fall asleep.