10 things they don’t tell you about lambing season
As any seasoned sheep farmer will confirm, lambing season is the busiest time of year for us all, and is filled with many highs and lows. From little time-saving tricks to best-practise rearing advice, we could all do with some fresh tips to head into the season.
We reached out to the sheep farming community via our social media channels to pick their brains about the ins and outs of lambing season. They came back with loads of fantastic stories, sharing everything from solutions to problems you never knew you had, and humorous tales that any sheep farmer can relate to.
A good sense of humour and, sometimes, a little ingenuity will get you through lambing season. Here’s what they said…
1. Plastic dog beds make great draught-proof lamb beds
Pink is so this season, don’t you think?
Huge thanks to Arnbeg Farmstay Scot for this advice and photo.
2. Iodine is both essential and incredible….
But expect to find it everywhere. Even on your favourite hoodie, bought by your girlfriend (Let’s not mention how upset she will get that it ends up with huge brown marks down both arms… Sorry!)
‘Working Hands’ cream is the season’s must-have for when the iodine dries out your hands and fingers.
Multiple tips for the price of one, from Stormur (@FutureCrofter on Twitter)
3. Milk replacers ARE going to be needed
There will always be orphan lambs, and ewes short of quality milk. So it’s important to always have colostrum and ewe milk replacer on hand in preparation.
We couldn’t agree more Alex Edwards (@alexedward_s on Twitter)
4. Assistance is always required when you have places to be
It is guaranteed that if you have a ewe on the go that results in assistance being required, this will ONLY be required about 12 minutes before you’re due to go on the school run.
It is the law to run into the school playground late, puffing like a steam train, looking slightly bewildered, with lamb goo on your cheek from where you had the automatic urge to scratch your face the second you got anything on your hands.
Been there, done that! Thanks to Tory (@ToryL on Twitter) for the giggle.
5. Practice makes perfect – except when it comes to the lack of sleep
Get ready for the lack of sleep – it doesn’t get any easier with time.
Thanks for the reminder and photo Joyce Cambell (@armadalefarm on Twitter)… Caffeine and sense of humour on standby!
6. Dung will find its way EVERYWHERE
If you leave anything unattended, there WILL be dung in it when you come back.
Pro tip from Alex Edwards (@alexedward_s on Twitter): Try not to leave things unattended, and keep a cleaning kit to hand.
7. Bodily fluids? What bodily fluids?
Yes, you’ll get far too used to getting covered in bodily fluids – especially faeces! Having a second pair of waterproofs can be pretty helpful, according to Matt Styles (@FarmerMatt64 on Twitter)
8. Shut. The. Gates.
Stormur (@FutureCrofter on Twitter) says; “I’ve had a few first-time lambers leave a holding pen gate open, only for the ewes to escape with 400 acres of escape to roam. Luckily that time, we were saved by a contractor shutting the gate to the sheep section behind him.”
9. Waterproof trousers are your new best friend
Waterproof trousers are your friend. For the ultimate speed getting into them and ready, leave them rolled down over your wellies when you’re not wearing them. Then, when you get your “have a poke” call, you can get wellied up and out there in minutes, like some sort of woolly midwifery superhero.
Tory (@ToryL on Twitter) has definitely done this before. Cheers for the tip!
10. Crying is inevitable
Whether it’s through sleep deprivation, pure exhaustion or those heart-breaking losses, a few tears are likely to be shed. But the joy of seeing your own lambs roaming out in the fields outweighs the sadness. Thanks for the reality check Alex Edwards (@alexedward_s on Twitter).
Over to you…
As this lambing season unfolds, we’re sure you’ll discover your own little lambing wins as well as being reminded of any mistakes and misadventures of seasons past. Be sure to make a note in your little black book, or better still, share your giggles with us on our social media channels.