This year was set up to be our biggest yet, with 21 ewes going to two different tups last autumn. It was also our first year without sponging the flock - an unplanned step caused by the tups breaking through a gate into the ewe's field before they were meant to be introduced!
As a result, rather than being a relatively compact lambing, this year was spread out over three full weeks meaning lots more nighttime checks and a lot less sleep than previous years! Being earlier than planned too, the challenge the weather would pose was a worry. There were some very cold nights (down below -5C) and even an unexpected four inches of snow one day. Despite this the hardiness of the breed shone through and all the ewes mothered their lambs impeccably well.
Lambs came in fits and starts, some days with three ewes delivering and then there would be several days with nothing new. One ewe unfortunately lost both her twins, either stillborn or dying soon after birth, but aside from this there were no major problems. Everything was up and feeding promptly - apart from one lively lamb that didn't seem to know where to look for the first few hours.
Before long we were putting out groups of ewes and lambs into the field and watching them get used to finding their mothers in a much bigger world.
Two of our first time ewes must have missed the tup and, despite looking plump, they haven't delivered any lambs. Overall we finished with 27 healthy lambs out to the field, from 19 ewes - 142%. An amazing 19 of these were tups, reversing last year's female dominance!
Mullach Viking has proven himself, although two of his 8 ewes don't seem to have conceived, whereas Big Boy retained his 100% record for the third year in a row.