Excited, nervous, tired and to top it all boiling hot, yes, that probably describes the August Bank holiday weekend pretty well!
The timing wasn't great but Delilah was due to lamb the day of Stuarts brother and sister in laws 3oth wedding anniversary party, and yes you guessed it, not just around the corner but the other end of the country in Northumberland! For obvious reasons it was decided that I (being Polly) would stay home on lamb watch, whilst the rest of the family headed up North! Although not having any experience in lambing my big sister Noo came to stay to help, support, read, watch youtube videos, make drinks, cook meals, or do whatever was necessary.
Delilah did us proud and on the morning of 25th August, exactly 147 days from tupping ( the day of the party, PHEW, it made it a good decision to stay home!) she calmly and following the perfect textbook delivered a ewe lamb, not perfectly marked with partial white tops to her ears and panda eyes but perfectly lambed in the shade of the Scots pine tree with Noo watching and yes I did actually manage to go into the house and the wrong minute and miss it!!
As with Freddo, Delilahs first lamb born last year it was quite hard for as we named her Gwen to start suckling due to Delilahs enormous teats!! we persevered stripping her down and helping Gwen on and within 48 hours Gwen was able to latch on a feed herself.
A good job to because on the afternoon of 27th August Margret at 149 days decided it was her time. The family were back from the North but Noo didn't want to miss out so within 15 minutes of a phone call she was here, dressed, well not as your average farmer but in a blue shift dress and gold flip flops! It has to be said though that it didn't stop her being very helpful! Margret was struggling and was unable to lay down, after a while and no progress Noo held onto her horns and I got the lub out and had a feel, it was obvious this lamb wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, with some persuasion, concentration and some girl power it started coming out not quickly but it was moving, two feet and the tip of a nose. I must admit it was the first time I have assisted and this was a tight squeeze resulting in one massive lamb, not the twins we were expecting!! he was huge!! His fate was sealed, his panda eyes made the decision to band him easy, this boy was going to make someone a great pet! I can honestly say I did wonder when he would actually stop coming out!! It wasn't the easiest of births but Gavin was as strong as he was big and was up, feeding within 20 minutes and he didn't look back!!
As expected we had a few days to catch up on a bit of sleep, Maggie's 147 days was a week after Delilah and following a lovely evening at home with friends in the early hours of the morning she started getting restless, all went well, one foot was back but I easily popped it forward and Gorgeous Gretl made her appearance into the world, well marked and a good size. This time Noo wasn't around, I didn't think she would be too keen getting up in the middle of the night and driving to us!
The most stressful time was after her birth, Gretl was very slow to get going, she didn't make any real effort to stand, Maggie was getting cross with her, kicking her, tossing her around, trying to get her to stand and with a constant bah she actually sounded like she was crying! We tubed her twice to get colostrum in a with a visit from our fantastic vet Rosie from 'Cedar Farm vets" in the morning she sorted herself out and was soon out with the other lambs and ewes.
Well that was the lambing over for 2019...great fun, a lot learnt which all works towards the future of our wonderful flock of VBN'S.