Lambs are like buses
Of necessity this post must be short. This will be tricky as I am, by nature, verbose and I have imbibed two glasses of cava which will only make me more so…..
Our lambing started two days ago. When I say that I mean that Monday was the first day that our sheep could have given birth. Allan, bless his little cotton socks, has been trudging round the croft four times a day since then looking longingly at his sheep and dreaming of lambs. My father prefers to take a more relaxed attitude to his lambing – his sheep have been lambing for over a month and are showing no signs of stopping. This morning Allan arrived in for breakfast and announced with joy that our first lamb had been born. Much rejoicing ensued (well I rejoiced with as much joy as I could considering I had only had 3.5 hours sleep). Just before lunch he headed off to check the sheep again and to mark the lamb (and possibly do something to its testicles that should not be mentioned on a mainstream blog). I was in the midst of defrosting some rather questionable soup when he arrived home and announced that the lamb was now one of triplets! For those of you who are not crofting experts this is not cool. A single lamb is good, twins is better but triplets are too much for a sheep and are an abomination which should not be allowed. Allan did the only thing possible and telephoned my dad.
My Dad arrived home from a hard morniings LDO’ing and admitted that in his 30 odd years of farming/crofting he had never actually had triplets. After much deliberation and hopeful examining of our own and my dads sheep for a possible foster mother it was decided that we would have to take one of the lambs ourselves. So there you have it. Our first sheep has lambed and already we have a pet – pretty much the worst possibly outcome.
Sally lamb (named by Helen, she doesn’t know any other baby names) is now residing in Allan’s vegetable garden. Hopefully she will not do the plants any damage. The hens have already eaten all of the leaves off of his plum trees. I fear for her. Allan and I both spent a large amount of time trying to feed her before we realised that you have to cut the end off of the teat to actually make a hole for the milk to flow out of. I suppose in our favour is the fact that we have managed to keep Helen and Sally alive – they seem a bit more resiliant though.
Today was my first day in the shop. It was rather overshadowed by events on the croft. I felt extremley guilty on leaving. Both girls were sitting in their high chairs, covered in food. I had just realised that Helen’s nappy was leaking. Sally hadn’t been fed for several hours and Allan was holding a newborn lamb in his arms. Also I had been forced to admit that the soup was in fact beyond question and indeed inedible. When I phoned later to announce that the boat would not be bringing his mother to help Allan uttered these words “I’m going to have to go and put the lamb outside. It’s keeping Helen awake.” He has a lot to learn as a father.
I would love to continue this and regale you with tales of the shop and further examples of our general unsuitability for the crofting lifestyle but time is wearing on and it’s nearly time to give Sally lamb a bottle.
Above is Sally lamb – less than an hour old. Allan was holding her for my Dad to spray her cord with iodine. Sadly my camera can no longer focus properly. I put it into the pocket of Allan’s jacket and it came into contact with a very questionable substance. Hopefully I will have more cute photos tomorrow.