Jonathan: Came home from this morning’s ‘croft run’ with another lamb, a wee helpless mite of a thing, struggling to stand. It was born just minutes before I arrived there, it’s mother standing over it, trailing an umbilical cord. She’s the equivalent of a pre-teen mother, barely 12m old – they’re not got what it takes until they are 18m old: for a pregnancy at 7m-12m there’s great risk of deformities, still-births, or the mother dying in lambing. But last autumn she escaped the field I’d put her and her three half-sisters into: she was bleating to get back with the grown-ups. I didn’t find out until the next day, and by then – apparently – … Anyway, Denise and I have just fed collostrum down into its tiny tummy, and after a few hours under the heat lamp it will be up and wobbling about. Her mother is too young to understand what has happened to her or know what to do: they learn from seeing the older generation give birth and nurse their young, and you can see them taking an interest in the new-born lambs: all that prepares them for their own pregnancies in a few months time. Anyway, she didn’t seem to have a clue what to do, and certainly hadn’t any milk to offer the wee thing. With the older two nick-named Bill and Ben, this scrappy little thing has got to be called … ? Answers by comment (below), Facebook or Tweet. First right answer gets a wee gift from the #HebrideanWoolshed
An Gàrradh Mòr Flock : Acarsaid [0718-12]
2-horn ram sired by mainland-bred High Bank Pioneer with one of our own home-bred breeding ewes.
3yrs old and proven, with good crop of lambs 2014 (1st season) and even better in 2015
Easy to handle (comes to bucket – when not too absorbed in his work!). Fits in well with the flock, not overly aggressive towards other rams – just does his job with minimum fuss.
Fleece of ‘improved primitive’ type, so properly fit for native habitat, hardy; not the over-improved gentrified type that’s increasingly common on mainland.
Denise: Over the next days I’ll be packing bags for an eight week stay, which could turn into a permanent move away. But it’s not me that I’m packing for, nor Jonathan, but my mum, Betty. We now have a date for her moving into residential care (strictly speaking, at this stage, it’s an eight-week trial) – at Sacred Heart, Daliburgh (where she currently goes three times a week for day care). More about this, in a day or two, perhaps.