Lambing time on Mull
It is now April and it is lambing time on Mull. We always have an ‘official start date’, 152 days after the tups (rams) go out with the ewes. April 14th was that date. However a lot of ewes thought differently and produced ‘early’ lambs!
Back in the routine
By the beginning of April the clocks have gone forward and we are on British Summer Time. Days are getting longer which means there is plenty of daylight for being out checking the ewes. During the lambing routine, the alarm clock goes off around 5am and Somerset gets into bed about 10.30pm having checked the lambing wards in the shed before bed.
Different sheep in different places
The big shed has become the maternity ward. There are pens with different ewes in each, plus a row of small individual pens for those who have needed some intervention. Our Cheviot and Herdwick ewes expecting twins are inside as are the ewes who are expecting Suffolk lambs. This means that Somerset can check them more often, making better use of his time.
The Haunn field has the Blackface ewes from the hill who are expecting twins. The field by Shian and Duill has the Herdwick ewes expecting singles. And down are below the house the older Blackface ewes expecting singles. Out on the hill are the main flock of Blackface ewes pregnant with single lambs. Somerset can check the ewes in the fields on and off during the day, and he walks out along the coast and over the hill once a day.
Everyone is experiencing extremely uncertain times on both a personal and work level. Our thoughts are with you all, and especially with those whose personal circumstances find them in seriously difficult situations.
We always feel lucky because we live here but we are feeling that even more so at the moment. The cottages may all be closed with the stress involved in that, but on the farm, life – and lambing – goes on oblivious to the concerns about Covid19.
Welcoming you back
At some point we will be able to open up the cottages again, and welcome you back. In the meantime, we hope you all keep well and safe.