It’s often difficult to tell when a one year-old ewe will lamb. Whereas an older ewe will start developing a significant udder more than a week before giving birth, the first time ewe often doesn’t. Which makes you doubt your calendar. Maybe she’s not pregnant? Maybe the raddle lied and the ram came back a fortnight later?
That’s what happened with this ewe. She was supposed to lamb on Thursday but was showing no signs of imminent labour. From the size of her, she was definitely pregnant but she didn’t look any different to the ewe who was due in 14 days time.
Then, on late Tuesday afternoon, she suddenly went into labour. Two days early and in the woods at the top of the field. So we hastily strawed down a lambing pen and coaxed/pushed/bribed her down from the woods and into the pen.
Normally, a first time ewe will have a single lamb. She had two very small twins. And they were practically black. Here they are, a day later, sniffing noses. They’re three-quarters Suffolk, one quarter Rouge d’Ouest.
And here’s a family group. Showing they may be small but they can still run and leap.
And they’re curious. Especially when humans crouch down to take pictures of them. They’ve got to come over and give you a sniff.