Thursday, 21 April 2016

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Spring is a busy time of year on the farm and it comes as a welcome relief from a long, dark, mild but wet winter.  The general busyness and long hours are all worth it though when you can witness nature unfurling an abundance of green leafy growth and new life all around.

Over the past few months we've been busy with various jobs around the place including planting new hedges, preparing the vegetable garden, setting eggs, hatching chicks and awaiting the arrival of our first Hebridean lambs.

Back in the Summer of 2015 we purchased 'Brutus', a well put together Pedigree ram from a local breeder, and later in November we put our untested but rather dashing ram to our six ewes.  Brutus set about doing his job with gusto and we waited for signs of pregnancy within the flock.  

It turns out he did an absolutely splendid job and from six ewes we now have a further 9 ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs.  Certainly a great result and more ewe lambs than we could have ever dreamt of.  The lambs have all been given names now and are romping about in the fields chasing chickens and getting up to mischief.  

The lambs are named as follows:
  • Blackbrook Angelica's Annabella
  • Blackbrook  Angelica's April
  • Blackbrook Aster's Astronomic 
  • Blackbrook Aquilegia's Alyssum
  • Blackbrook Aquilegia's Apple Blossom
  • Blackbrook Anemone's Allium 
  • Blackbrook Anemone's Artichoke
  • Blackbrook Arisaema's Agapanthus
  • Blackbrook Arisaema's Achillea
  • Blackbrook Astrantia's Ammi
  • Blackbrook Astrantia's Asparagus
As a primitive breed, Hebridean's just get on with the task at hand and would have happily opted for al fresco births if allowed. We chose to bring the sheep in for lambing just so we could monitor them more closely and give the rather skittish ewes a chance to feel comfortable around us more, which would certainly help when we have to complete checks in the field or undertake general maintenance of the flock.

Lambing was an easy affair  (for us anyway) and was done and dusted within a week.  The sheep have proven to be incredible mothers and we've only had one small lamb that's needed a little bit of our help to suckle.

We'll be keeping quite a few of the ewe lambs to join the wider flock with a view to bringing in a new Ram in a couple of years time.  It's likely that we'll sell the remaining lambs as shearlings so if you're interested in a wonderful native and easy to care for breed please get in touch.

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