Sunday, 24 April 2011

Conservation Grazing Lambs

Our new generation of conservation grazing lambs are now all born and running around the field enjoying the sunshine. It has been an exhausting but wonderful experience. We were advised not to give the lambs names but because some stick out in my mind, I have been unable to resist naming them. Here are a few of those lambs:

Jelly Bean

Little Jelly Bean got a bit stuck whilst being born, with his head out but his legs back. This requires urgent intervention as the lambs head can swell rapidly. Luckily the Grazing Officer was on hand to push him back into the ewe, re-arrange his legs and pull him back out. It saved his life but left him so wobbly he couldn't stand up for a couple of days and couldn't suckle. When I arrived in the morning I was shown how to milk the ewe and then tube feed Jelly Bean. We tried very hard to get him to suckle but he just couldn't manage it so I repeated what I had been shown earlier on and thankfully got the tube down the right passage to his stomach (and not into his lungs!) and the feed went well..Phew..I was sooo relieved. Over the next few days he gradually gained strength and as the second picture shows he is now feeding and growing well:))


This little guy just loved standing on his mother's back sucking her ear. The mum was very tolerant but every now and again she would stand up and send him flying.


This chap started life well and was soon out in the field with his sister. Unfortunately they then became rather too adventurous and managed to get under the sheep netting into a field of horses where he got kicked and knocked out (hence K.O.). He was totally unconscious for quite a long time and we were all amazed he survived with only a slightly miss-shaped jaw.

Baldy Bot

We are not quite certain what happened to this little one. One morning he was found with a bald bottom. The vet thought it was probably a crow stealing lambs wool for its nest. Luckily the fleece soon grew again so it is not suffering with sunburn in this lovely weather.


Corky was so called because she didn't have her lambs until 2 weeks after all the others had lambed. Day after day she sat in her favourite shady spot under the Hawthorn tree and day after day the lambing team took turns to watch her for signs of lambing. When she did eventually give birth to her twins it was conveniently on a busy day on the farm when the whole lambing team were there taking part in a volunteering activity.

We had just put her and her newborn lambs into a mothering up pen when the manager of the project arrived with a representative form Surrey County Council who was doing a Public Value Review. We all felt very proud as we showed off the new arrivals and hopefully it will help her realise how important the farm is for the Old Surrey Downs Grazing Project.