Lambing 21: The roundup

09.Jul.21

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Lambing 21: The roundup

As lambing season 2021 got underway for the early starters back in December last year, we launched our #LamlacLambing21 campaign, which has seen us sharing the inevitable highs and lows of the season. 

Sheep farmers from across the UK and Ireland have flocked to share their tales, snaps, anecdotes and developments on their social media feeds. And we’ve also shared a few tips to help keep everyone on track for a healthy and successful lambing season.

As the season draws to a close, with just a few left to lamb, we thought we’d do a little roundup of our most popular posts and those shared by our sheep farming followers up and down the country.

We’ve met some friendly new faces…

Ben from Lampeter, West Wales, who has shown us around his orphan lamb shed.

 

Ben is a first-generation farmer based right by our main factory in Lampeter (we can practically see him from there, hey Ben!). In partnership with his fiancée, Samantha, he buys and rears around 150 orphan lambs per year.

In between running his own farm and raising orphan lambs, he also helps out with lambing at another farm 3 nights a week. Check out the set-up in the lambing shed below, with 1,200 ewes, which all lamb within a 4-week period.

Ben with his huntaway pup, Fallon

The lambing sheds at the farm Ben helps out at 3 nights per week

Ben with a little lamb that needed a couple of days of TLC in front of the Rayburn during a cold spell

Berwyn from Bethesda, North Wales who has been experimenting with a Derbyshire Gritstone ram this season.

 

Another Welshman, Berwyn had his second year in the agricultural sector this year. He rents a small holding in the stunning Snowdonia hills of North Wales, where he farms sheep and wild Carneddau Mountain Ponies.

His sheep are mainly improved Welsh Mountain ewes (for those beautiful hilly pastures), and he has a cross of rams. This year, he experimented with a Derbyshire Gritstone ram, and put his lambing back one month to April, since his Welsh ewes don’t tend to come into season until November.

Introducing Berwyn in his lambing shed

Berwyn’s first set of twins this season, both ewe lambs

After a long day on the farm with no lambing, Berwyn got back from the fields late afternoon to find this lovely little surprise

Candice from North Northumberland with her small flock of pedigree Zwartbles and few ‘pet’ commercials.

 

Candice is located in North Northumberland, right near the Scottish border. On her mixed farm, she runs a small flock of pedigree Zwartbles.

She has lambed for others since the age of 15, and helped to lamb a big flock for a friend before her lambing season even began this year! She also trades store lambs, and raised 40 pet lambs last year.

Here’s Candice with Deighton FiFi, one of her original registered lambs

Candice’s 11-year-old daughter, Pandra, is a huge hit with the lambs. Winnie, the black lamb loves to stand on anyone who bends down

Candice’s 4-year-old son tending to the pet lambs, which he named Winnie, Mopsy and Flopsy

There’s always one… Here’s Threeways Jumbo ‘helping’ out on the farm

Emma from Gosforth in Cumbria who has a 300 strong commercial flock of Texel crosses as well as a flock of 12 pedigree Blue Texels that she hopes to start showing.

 

29-year-old Emma is based in West Cumbria, and has been farming for as long as she can remember. She has 300 commercial First Texel crosses, 12 pedigree Blue Texels, 25 pedigree South Devon cattle, the odd mule, and one Herdwick.

Following a dog attack last year, she is hugely passionate about promoting dog safety, especially since an increase of attacks following the pandemic.

Introducing Emma, from West Cumbria

Pepper, Emma’s pedigree Blue Texel, in halter training

We shared in Emma’s tears and triumph as she nursed a gimmer lamb of just a few days old, with watery mouth, back to health

A few days later, the lamb was numbered up, bouncing around, and where she belonged with mum

We met Sadie and her Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep.

 

Sadie has been farming sheep since 1998, when she lived in West Dorset, and has had so much fun showing sheep over the years. After her first husband passed away in 2016, she met a wonderful man who welcomed her and her flock with open arms, and so relocated to the Somerset Levels near Burnham-on-Sea.

Since then, the duo has established a pedigree flock of Devon and Cornwall Longwool sheep (in addition to Sadie’s Greyface Dartmoor flock), which are beautiful but difficult to work with as they have wool everywhere – including their udder!

Sadie with home-bred ram Hazelwood Gungadin at the New Forest Show in 2012 (the ram won supreme interbreed champion of the day!)

What a madam! Hazelwood Bryony 252 on her way to start some trouble in the creche

Selfie time! Hazelwood Fern 58 with her cheeky little ewe lamb

And finished! Hazelwood Molly 41 with her ewe lamb, the last pedigree Greyface Dartmoor lamb of 2021

In addition to this wonderful bunch, we had some stunning photos sent in from our community, and it would be rude not to share.

 

We saw early lambings…

Uel Gallagher

And later lambings…

Chloe Stewart

Indoor lambing…

@lizziespencer28 on Twitter

And alfresco lambing…

@alison_woodall on Twitter

The highs… and the lows of lambing…

And lots of help at hand…

Dermot Rooney

Dermot Rooney

Eileen Brooks

Kathleen Rodgers

Kirstyn Rebecca

Louise Elkington

Nicole-Marie Davies

Not forgetting the four-legged helpers too...

Sam Yeo

Emma's Spaniel

Our Business Manager in Scotland, Alan’s family and Rottweiler ‘sheepdog’, Harvey

Clearly, it was all hands (and paws) on deck for lambing season 2021, which was far from an easy one, with the weather proving challenging in every which way. With a cold but dry start, the grass was slow to pick up, and lambs slow out to the field. This was then followed by a rather wet May – not particularly helpful for those with newborns, itching to get out! Either way, we made it! So how did we fare when all said and done?

Did you miss out on the #LamlacLambing21 action?

Simply search #LamlacLambing21 to catch up, but let’s face it, it won’t be long ‘til tupping time again, and then starts #LamlacLambing2022. We can’t wait!