Every year during lambing season, we catch up with some farmers across the UK and Ireland to follow their lambing journey and share their tales, tips, and photos. This year was no different, as we followed the lambing season of 5 different farms.
As the season draws to a close and we start to think about weaning, we wanted to share a round-up of the season so far, an intro to our farmers, and some of our favourite photos.
Meet our sheep farmers…
Merryn is from South East Cornwall; she isn’t from a farming background but has been involved in lambing for the past 9 years.
Merryn is married to a fourth-generation sheep and arable farmer and, together, they keep 115 breeding ewes. She has two sons – one who is a natural-born farmer, and one who prefers a good computer – and she loves sharing her knowledge of the industry by going into local schools each year and sharing tales with the community on social media.
Merryn kicked off #LamlacLambing22 in early February with a precious Zwartble lamb and shared her tales with us from the highs to the lows. Here’s a quick recap of her lambing season:
Here were our favourite photos from Merryn!
This poor ewe had to go through a C-section where four living lambs were pulled out but one by one were sadly all lost. Merryn adopted another lamb onto her and that cheered her up so much that she even started producing milk. She had to stay inside for a while until her stitches came out and she healed, and after that, she got to head outside with her new lamb!
Merryn helped this ewe deliver her single lamb but had to put this harness on her as she kept trying to push after giving birth. Thankfully, the prolapse was prevented and mum and her lamb got to go back outside together.
Next up, Clodagh from Inniskeen in North East Ireland shared her lambing journey with us, starting at the end of February.
Clodagh is originally from a dairy farming background but has always had a soft spot for sheep. She trained and worked as a chef for years, but a serious motorbike accident caused her to change careers. You may not think that sheep farming was an easy choice in these conditions, but Clodagh usually manages to arrange her days and jobs to suit her health.
Clodagh bought her first 13 ewe lambs in 2016 and has never looked back since! Her chef background certainly comes in handy when mixing the perfect Volostrum® and milk replacer for her lambs. Here’s how her season went:
Clodagh had a set of quads – good job she had plenty of Lamlac® at the ready!
This little one had to be tended to inside due to sickness. He had a healthy feed of Volostrum® and settled down inside before he could join the rest of the lambs.
Helen and Tom are based in Lancashire and, between them, run a flock of 1,700 ewes. They also have a few hundred of their own, in addition Tom works as a livestock manager on a 1,200-acre farm.
The couple met 6 years ago when Helen was working on a farm and Tom came in to shear the sheep – a farming love story! They both grew up helping out and working on farms, despite neither having farming parents, and they now have a 1-year-old daughter together, who loves being out on the farm.
In addition to farming and parenting, Helen also works part-time as a secondary school teacher three days a week, so you can imagine just how busy she is.
Helen, Tom, and little Isla are a lambing dream team!
Abi from the Cotswolds has been lambing her whole life! She is a 5th generation farmer and grew up caring for the pet lambs during lambing season.
By the time she was 12, she had saved up enough to buy herself her first few NEMSA (New England Mule Sheep Association) ewe lambs. Now, 13 years later, she runs her own flock of 230 Welsh Mountain ewes and 80 North Country Cheviots.
Here are just a few highlights of Abi’s lambing season!
This little one was born in -4°C temperatures so had to be taken inside and warmed by the fire. It was such a joy to get an update from Abi that he was thriving and loving being bottle-fed in the warm barn.
Finally, we met Katy from Yorkshire, who has a mixture of Scottish Blackface, Texel, Suffolk, and Jacob ewes.
Katy farms with her dad, who manages the arable side, while she manages the sheep. Alongside this, she also works full time for the NHS!
Here’s Katy bottle-feeding one of her lambs and some of her new arrivals
Katy wasn’t due to start lambing until the end of March but had this little Jacob lamb surprise her 5 weeks early.
This was Katy’s biggest lamb – he needed a little help being welcomed into the world, but he absolutely thrived afterwards.
If you missed out on the action, just search #LamlacLambing22 on Facebook and Twitter! Now to start counting down to the next tupping season, it’ll be here before we know it.