Lambing is certainly looming large at Fearn, our stud (those we breed our rams from) ewes are due on April 1st and with our crossbred ewes hot on their heels on 18th April its going to be a busy month.
Our team which is a mixture of full time staff members, family and seasonal staff are ready and looking forward to the challenge of lambing both inside and out at Fearn and Scotsburn where we contract farm for R W Durham and partners.
Over the past few years our system has evolved from one which relied heavily on bought in concentrate feeding to one which has grass and forage at its main driver. We still use some hard feed for those ewes lambed inside but that’s now part of a ration mixed in our tub feeder which basically mixes various ingredients including silage, wheat dark grains and home grown oats and barley.
We also use a little liquid feed for triplets and quads and we find that our ewes are more settled they don’t have to rush to feed twice a day as they used to and eat little and often to satisfy their appetites.
In an ideal world we would lamb everything outside at grass but being able to take higher value ewes and those carrying multiples inside makes sense, predators and a bitter east wind can make lambing a real challenge at Fearn.
Over the past twenty years we have taken steps to improve shelter around the farm and we now have a network of hedges providing much needed shelter and wildlife corridors for a wide variety of species some of which we see on a regular basis on our daily rounds.
For anyone passing the farm on a regular basis at lambing time they will see the numbers of new born lambs increasing on a daily basis and often these lambs are fresh which means just born.
Sometimes we get concerned phone calls from members of the general public that our sheep are lambing in the field, this is quite natural, our team tour the fields regularly during daylight hours and assist where necessary.
Ideally ewes will get on with things themselves and lambs will get up and suckle quickly without assistance, watching this happen gives us immense satisfaction its one of the highlights of our job during the spring.