Its been all go here at Glengorm.
We have now reached the end of lambing, and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the last 2 calves.
Lambing has been quick this year. It started early, the end of March and it was pretty much finished after the first turn, 3 weeks later. We refer to it as a turn as when we want the sheep to get pregnant, we put the tup out in the fields with them. He stays out for 3 weeks and then we send out a chaser who will hopefully finish the job and ensure all are pregnant. The success of the first tup out will dictate how quick lambing will be.
During lambing, we lost our share of lambs. We lost a lot with dead ewes which is pretty unusual. Two years ago, we had about 20 pet lambs, this year we didn’t have any. One of the reasons for this is that we are able to twin orphan lambs on to new mothers ,when the mother herself has lost her lamb. The lamb may be born dead, or die young and if this happens we keep the ewe in a pen with her dead lamb. When an orphan lamb comes in to the shed, the dead lamb is skinned and the skin put on the orphan lamb for 24 hours and the mother will happily take on the orphan lamb. Its always better to twin a lamb on than have a pet as pets don’t fare as well in the long run.
As a result of two years ago, we have a few sheep who are very friendly. One is Iona at the top who is half Zwartble and is black, but she has a lovely white lamb. She is very friendly and will eat from your hand. Peaches, another pet lamb, and half Zwartble, had two lambs, one white and black. She is a pet lamb but not as friendly as Iona. Toms favourite is a sheep he calls Pet, she will follow him around the field.
Calving has a much higher success rates, we have not had many casualties. Although calving is not quite over, the bull has gone out to the heifers. Heifers are 3 years old when they go to the bull, and they have a bit longer as they are new to the experience.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, window painting goes on. I am now on window no. 54, and I have 30 plus still to go. I have 2 that I am not going to manage to get to, which niggles me. I was however delighted to wake up to mist and rain this morning so I could have the day off….
I am now on the sea side of the Castle painting. This is different as it does not get the sun until late afternoon and painting in the shade can be pretty cool. We look forward to having guests back to enjoy the very smart looking Castle, but in the meantime we will enjoy the sunsets all to ourselves.