This is a very brief blog post to celebrate the release of the first batch of ewes and their lambs out of the barn and onto the lush green pasture of early April. It’s always a joyous (and yes, that’s entirely the right word to describe it) moment, which we all gather round to watch. So I choose a warm sunny day when the weather forecast for the following week doesn’t look too bad. And yesterday, April 8th, was the appointed date.
About half the ewes had been in the barn, where we encourage them to bond closely with their lambs. On our farm they lamb in the barn, too. So here’s a picture of them shortly before their release.
As soon as I open one of the double barn doors the most eager ewes spill through. At this point it’s essential to make sure that their way is entirely clear. In the past we’ve had lambs trampled – and even killed – when the charging mothers encountered an obstacle. Happily, this year there were no accidents.
They dash across the yard and out into the field.
A few moments later, the flock has spread out and calm starts to descend. Slowly one or two ewes will return to the barn to gather-up any lambs – their own and others – which they then escort out into the field.
Being a Friday, earlier that morning Maisie had whizzed into Long Sutton market, where she’d bought some brown shrimps and three oysters – which I adore. We toasted the day with fish and Cava – a perfect combination!