Another busy day:
& not the pleasantest in terms of weather, with March threatening to leave like a lion, sending angry clouds bowling along the lowering skies above the valley before giving way to fat, relentless tears of rain.
Whilst Tony was giving the goat kids their first feed of the day I went out to check the ewes; & found Alchillea at the brow of the hill looking rather bemused with – to my delight – twin ewe lambs at foot; one of which was already up & suckling & the second, just making her first shaky attempts to stand. As the wind was rather raw & there was already a hint of rain in the air I hastily prepped a vacant pen in the lambing shed then hurried down the hill to gather up her lambs & encourage her into the shed, where I then checked the lambs over & ensured both were comfortably suckling, navels sprayed, before departing the little family group to help Tony. Luckily these lambs were very vocal for a change; sounding as if they were literally singing to their dam as I carried them up the hill whilst the first of the showers started in earnest. Occasionally lambs remain obstinately silent & I feel like resorting to jumping up and down in sheer desparation in the hope they’ll utter a little bleat to advise Mum they’re on the move; otherwise more often than not, the ewe will either stay put or keep running back to the place she gave birth, which on a day like today with the weather rapidly closing in, isn’t exactly helpful.
At 11am our friends from Maes-Y-Derw came visiting accompanied by Boo’s brother Alastair, sister-in-law Tracey & three children, who were staying with them for the weekend. The children certainly enjoyed their visit in spite of the bitter, driving rain & wind; seeing all aspects of the farm from Merson the Stud Male goat, to learning about how the milking machine works & the routine in the parlour; to today’s newborn lambs; to Roberta-goose, sitting on her clutch of enormous eggs; finishing with bottle-feeding the three little goat kids who are still resident in the house until they are disbudded on Monday. It was great fun & always a pleasure to host such interested & well-behaved young people.
By evening the newborn lambs were bouncing around their pen in much the same way as the others; it won’t be long before they can all go out onto pastures new so their Mums can increase their milk production with some good, fresh grass.
Typically the rain lessened off for a while during the afternoon; however I don’t think it had done much to dampen our visitors’ spirits, & their infectious enthusiasm stayed with me for the rest of the day, such that I hummed my way cheerfully through the chores this evening – another case of ‘singing in the rain’. It takes a lot more than stormy weather to dampen my spirits, after all….!