Last weekend I went home to Hampshire to see the brand new lambs that have been born! My bro-in-law is one of the directors of Butser Ancient Farm, a working farm that doubles as an iron-age educational facility and open-air archaeological laboratory. They have massive pigs and scraggly goats, and each spring lots of tiny lambs appear.
There are usually one or two ewes that have difficulties during the birth, and the lambs are left to fend for themselves. This means that most years there are a few lambs that need hand-feeding and extra care. This year one mama sheep developed mastitis and was unable to produce milk, and so it came to be that we spent the weekend watching ‘Kevin’ lollop around the garden. He was joined by another unfortunate pal ‘Paddy’, and together they had a lovely time hopping around and eating soil.
If the abandoned lambs are found within two hours of their birth, they have a relatively good chance of survival. If not, their fate will be decided when the first round of infections hit later in the year. Kevin and Paddy seemed very perky, so I have high hopes!
If you’d like to see the lambs, the farm is now open 7 days a week! I highly recommend visiting for Beltain on May 3rd. They burn a huge wicker man to welcome in the warmer months, and you can enjoy live music, real ale and cider, hog roast and falconry. I’ll be selling my greetings cards and illustrations, so see you there!
Note: Apologies for the quality of some of these photos. My camera lens is broken so I have to manually focus everything, and with wriggly lambs it is really hard to get good shots..