Lambing is officially finished - thank goodness! It was a good excuse to have a drink (or two) in celebration.
It can be a very tiring and challenging time - there is the sense of satisfaction helping out the mums experiencing a difficult birth, feeling sad when a ewe or lamb dies despite your very best efforts and the joy of leaning on a fence post at the end of the day and watching the lambs race around in their gangs.
Last year lambing started in June and finished in September - ridiculous! This year 95% of lambs were born between the 12th and 17th July - during the worst storm we've had, it was a nightmare made worse as the good husband and I had picked up a nasty bug compliments of a visiting friend - thanks very much :-(
It definitely hasn't been without its challenges - 8 major prolapses and a few dead prems within the month leading up to birthing - we're (well actually the good husband) is a pro at getting the prolapses back in place with the assistance of a retainer and 7 out of 8 ewes went on to lamb successfully.
We are pleased that we have been a source of entertainment for our neighbours as they have watched the rugby dive to catch the ewe with a stuck lamb hanging out (mostly the dive was unsuccessful LOL). Perhaps I will suggest it is something the good husband should practice in the off season...
We've had some huge singles born (6kg+) and some equally large twins but we've come to the conclusion that triplets wreck the mums so we are happy to stick to the big healthy singles and twins.
And as for not keeping any of the 17 orphans that have come inside this year... well that hasn't quite gone according to plan...
The rest of the orphans went out the door as fast as they came in as calf club day pets to some fabulous homes and I'm really enjoying getting the photos and updates on how they are doing.
And just as the dust settles it is time to bring them all in to ring the lamb's tails and give them their first vaccination as well as some feet maintenance for the ewes, something that has had to be postponed while they were heavily pregnant and afterwards bonding with their lambs. Groan.
With an extra 190 mouths to feed we are hoping the spring growth kicks in very soon and the rain eases - it feels depressing when everything is so sodden and it's hard not to make a mess wherever you go.
Roll on spring and summer - we need the good weather for the building project we have underway, our refencing projects and getting the grounds and gardens back looking like someone loves them - sigh.