You Little Dark Horse!


Herd Master
Oct 19, 2012
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Or to be more accurate...You sneaky little lamb!

Last year's 'bottle lambs' form part of my 'dry ewe' field consisting of those too young, too old, too small and 'honourably retired'. 3 affectionate lambs, have been coming daily for their cuddles when I go to fill their hay rack. They are Gwanwyn, Haf and Hydref (Spring, summer, Autumn in Welsh)....face and chest have to be rubbed before I can get any work done (of course, I love it!).

Over the last 6 weeks or so Gwanwyn has become much more aloof....stopped coming for her cuddles. I felt a bit sad, but think she's just growing up (however, I still have cuddles with a lot of the adult sheep). A couple of weeks ago I decided to go to her, but she walked away when I tried to approach her....Oh well.....

2 days back I was filling the hay rack when I notice Gwanwyn lying down in the corner of the field after a cold and very frosty night. Standing by her side is a tiny white lamb.....small, but very much alive.She allows me to approach her, pick up the lamb, and take her into an adjacent field. I brought her food and water and rub her chest and head. She's had none of the vaccines, wormers, feed, lick or vitamins that all the pregnant girls have had.....but her little lamb is alive, and knows how to suckle.

Gwanwyn is clearly exhausted and her little man is weak and tiny, but Gwanwyn is now more than happy for me to approach her again and give her supplemental food.

All that day she barely moves from where I led her, but accepts food and drink and her little lamb still is with us. She lies most of the day in the sun (we have had a few good days) and he cuddles up to her over the next frosty night. She intermittently grazes and he gets up to suckle.

Yesterday both are on their feet at first light, and the exhaustion of birth is fading. More food and water (plus a good chest and face rub) and both are looking fairly bright.

I don't know how they will fare in the long term, but Gwanwyn is a hill sheep with an exceptionally thick fleece even for her breed, and is clearly made of tough stuff.

Not confident about them, but quietly hopeful, I look forward to it becoming light and hopefully seeing her come over to me, like yesterday, for her food, and have her face and chest rubbed.

NOW I know why she wouldn't come to me....what I don't know is, 'Who is the father?'. To the best of my knowledge, she has not been anything less than two fields away from a tup! Of course, some tup must have paid a flying (or to be more accurate, jumping) visit.

I'm now watching the others closely!