The lambs came in two by two …

Hallelujah! Our first lambs have arrived! We have been doing nightly and early morning checks for almost a week, of course they arrived early on the day we arrived late!

Nancy was the first to have her twins, we were expecting to have some issues with the three younger girls as they were originally orphans and bottle fed so we were unsure if they would have the mothering instinct as this is their first year in lamb, however she was up and eating and all seemed well.

Nora also had a lamb at foot, and by the time we got down to her it looked like another was heading out with its nose just starting to appear.

A few tense minutes later and we realised the lamb wasnt moving. We had a closer look and the lamb was coming out with one hoof stuck backwards so we had to intervene quickly otherwise both mother and lamb could be at risk. Eventually with a bit of panic, pulling and choice words the lamb came out breathing, happy and healthy. Thankfully a local farmer came over to lend a hand and gave them a quick once over, giving us a few tips along the way.

Once the shock and celebration of birthing Noras final lamb were over, we returned to Nancy. The lamb still covered in blood in the picture above was much weaker than his sister, it wasnt until a little while later that we realised she had rejected the lamb. Apparently a common occurance is for the weaker boys to be rejected by their mother. We moved Nancy with her twins to a stable to try and let the weaker lamb dry out and give her time to bond.

She was showing all the mothering signs to the larger girl but unfortunately became really agressive towards the weaker little lamb, headbutting him around the stable, snapping and growling whenever he went near trying to feed. We managed to hold Nancy in place and get the young one to nurse and have at least some of the essential colostrum to get him going. We thought it was going to be more long nights bottle feeding at this point, however by chance we came across someone whose ewe had lost their lamb this same morning and they were looking for an orphan to use as surrogate as their ewe was trying to steal the other lambs away from the mothers.

Cue a roadtrip for little Bruno as he was now named.

We didn’t get any photos of him bonding with the surrogate, but we got an update later in the day and he seems to be feeding from her. So fingers crossed we hope all works out for the little guy.

We returned Nancy to the rest of the flock with her remaining lamb and so far she seems to have accepted that she is now a mother.

We have 4 ewes to go, and we’re praying the hard part is now over!

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