Black Lambs

Lambing continues apace. It’s often difficult to tell when a one year-old ewe will lamb. Whereas an older ewe will start developing a significant udder more than a week before giving birth, the first time ewe often doesn’t. Which makes you doubt your calendar. Maybe she’s not pregnant? Maybe the raddle lied and the ram snuck back a fortnight later?

That’s what happened with our second ewe. She was supposed to lamb on Thursday but was showing no signs of imminent labour. From the size of her, she was definitely pregnant but she didn’t look any different to the ewe who was due in 14 days time.

Then, on late Tuesday afternoon, she suddenly went into labour. Two days early and in the woods at the top of the field. So we hastily strawed down a lambing pen and coaxed/pushed/bribed her down from the woods and into the pen.

Normally, a first time ewe will have a single lamb. She had two very small twins. And they were practically black. Here are the two lambs sniffing noses. They’re 24 hours old in this picture.

A week later, they’re gradually filling out. We’re having to bottle feed the lambs 3-4 times a day to supplement their feed as their mother’s still not producing enough milk. Which means the moment they see us they race over and demand food … now!

We’ve not put them back with the main flock yet so they’re in the small paddock. Here they both are in front of their field shelter. 


Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. His novel – Resonance (Baen) – can be downloaded for free here. More information about his other work can be found on his  BVC bookshelf .

Recently released from Book View Press: International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a  glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth. Forget  Bruce Willis and his team of miners. Send for the kitties!

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