Sheep Shibboleth

As we near the end of another seasons lambing we take a look at the different cliches found in every lambing shed around the world. Chances are if you’ve spent any amount of time working with our ovine friends, you will know at least some of these.

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The late night trouble maker

Picture this, you’ve been busy all day, rushed off your feet, everything seems to have calmed down- finally! Everyone looks chilled out, you even think you might have time for a bubble bath tonight, imagine that! A bubble bath! And then bam, there she is. In the corner of your eye you spot that first timer who you suddenly remember looked a bit unsettled this morning and she still hasn’t lambed. With dreams of your bubble bath speedily diminishing you decide to turn her over and yes, sure enough, she has a vag like a pinhole and not two but three back legs trying to exit her all at once. Your bath bubble bursts and yet again you find yourself sat in the cold dark shed, head torch on, lube in hand, solving yet another lamb jigsaw puzzle until the early hours.

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The Immortal

Always looks dead, always just fast asleep. Enjoys giving you a mini heart attack every time you enter the shed.

The Texel

Built like a bulldozer she’ll bruise and abuse you. Any form of physical contact with this ewe is best avoided. She will make you question all sheep handling capabilities developed over the last few years and leave you feeling weak, bruised and battered both physically and emotionally.

The Wayward Mule

You probably couldn’t tell she was even in lamb, and ythumb_IMG_9637_1024ou definitely couldn’t tell that she was lambing. These subtle slinky ladies are a dream for easy lambing, but when it comes to getting them into a pen with their new lambs its a whole different story. After 15 minutes of slowly trying to coax her in you give up the gentle approach and no doubt end up grumbling round the shed, crook in hand trying to lasso the crazy thing. On the plus side she’s so tiny once she’s within your grasps you could carry her round all day, and any
doubt that the Texel planted has gone. Sheep wrestling confidence restored.

 

The Pet Lamb

A bottle lamb from a few years back, she probably still holds a special place in your heart, with fond memories of her following you around the garden as a lamb, always keen for a stroke even when she’s made her way into the main flock. But wow, when did she turn into such a brat? If she doesn’t want to do something she’s not going to do it, and good luck trying to make her. You’re not her real Mum.

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The I-want-it-all

Maybe she’s just lambed, maybe she’s just about to, but this girl wants it all. She’s the one you’ll find first thing in the morning, licking seven wet lambs simultaneously, refusing to give an inkling in to which ones are actually hers.

She’s like everyones favourite aunt, she just loves kids and anyones welcome in her pen.

The Forgetful Sally

She means well, she really does, but Forgetful Sally is just that. Chomping her way through the lush long grass, the sun on her back after weeks spent in the lambing shed, wait, the lambing shed? So where are her lambs? She’s normally found charging across the field bleating incessantly after suddenly coming to the realisation that she’s missing a certain someone by her side, and god forbid she has twins.

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The Dream Girl

Twins, big twins, both ewe lambs of course, stress free lambing and an udder like a cow. Most probably a Suffolk.

The Hater-turned-lover

She’s been penned in for days, smashing her lambs around, kicking them. And then all of a sudden the fog lifts and this doting mother of two appears, never letting her lambs out of sight. Good girl, we are lovers on this farm, not fighters.

The Excessive One

Quads? Really? All alive? You couldn’t just have two lambs could you?

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The Empty

Sneaky she lingers in the shadows, stealth mode activated she always ensures a good feed of cake, but it isn’t until the last twenty or so left to lamb remain in then shed that suspicions begin to arise. She’s looking petite, scanned for two but surely theres no way? No bag on her, but maybe she’s just not milky? Do you risk it? She remains, right to the bitter end, and sure enough, those lambs never do make an appearance.

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