It’s been the longest, wettest winter of all time, or at least that’s how it feels. We’ve spent the majority in our full waterproof overalls, sometimes having to change into dry coats at lunchtime. Trudging through the mud day in and day out, getting the truck stuck and daily hose downs of the dog become gruelling incredibly quickly. We just kept our heads down and done everything we needed to do. Things can change up very quick. The clocks change and we see more daylight, you strip off one of your layers by 11am, the last of the previous years young stock is sold and the “fresh start” of lambing season is upon us.

We pregnancy scan our flock at the beginning of the year which means we have an idea of what to expect. Each ewe is marked whether she is carrying a single, twins or triplets. A good scanning means we can expect lots of lambs on the ground come March / early April. We had a brilliant scanning and so knew that from the 20th March we would have our work cut out, which is what keeps us going, that adrenaline. The idea was we would take things semi-easy for at least a week pre lambing to recover from the winter months. The ewes had different ideas and 3 or 4 started lambing each day from the 12th March, that was our downtime out the window.

lambs on the ground

It’s a whirlwind every year. The days fly by and the 4.30am alarms don’t get any easier, if anything they get harder! Until the clocks change and the sun rises at 5.30am and we roll over and close our eyes for an extra hour and it’s bliss. Your face flushed from the morning cold and burns warm at night with tiredness. Your hands cracked and dirt and iodine engrained so deep it takes weeks to soften once the seasons over. Weirdly enough instead of the 6 week stint, this year we had the majority of lambs on the ground within 3. A blessing.

new life on the farm

The new life on the farm makes the world of difference to your mood. Teamed with the blossom on the trees and the grass greening, you can’t help but have a spring in your step (excuse the pun). Our ducks obviously have a whiff of the change of season too because 2 of them are toying with the idea of going broody. I say toying because frankly I don’t think they have the foggiest idea what they are doing, their instincts or hormones are just telling them to do something. At first we noticed that when we let them out their fox proof pen in the morning, instead of the 12 or 13 eggs we would usually get which means they lay one each, we started getting between 6 and 8. We started following them when we let them out at dawn to see where they were scurrying off to, to lay their eggs. We both became stalkers, hiding behind trees and tip toeing to not startle and put them off their plans. It turns out they had built 3 nests, not overly impressive nests, but nests none-the-less. We think between them they’d been laying in these nests for a few days and we felt excited that this could mean ducklings in a mere month.

We let nature do its thing and before we knew it one of the nests had 32 eggs literally stacked up on top of each other. It was time to seek some advice from our friend the “duck oracle” as we call him. He suggested we took some out and marked the ones left so we knew which ones were new so we could leave them under her so if she went broody and sat on the eggs to incubate them then at least we would have a good hatch rate. I shall keep you posted on “duck gate” in due course but I’m crossing my fingers and toes that one day I see a duck followed by a line of ducklings waddling across the field!






Womens Muckster

Womens Arctic Sport

Womens Muck Originals

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