Jonathan: Queenie’s boy-and-girl twins are now a week old and full of energy, and are extremely good at dodging my grasp! We now have two more lambs, born to #1, and again it’s boy-and-girl twins, but much smaller than Queenie’s were at birth. I returned to the croft later to do give the hen house its big spring clean, and on checking the sheep I found a lamb on its own, with not a ewe in sight. It was lying down (but with head up and looking about it), sheltered from the wind by some bushes, but cold to the touch. I sprinted off in search of its mum, and there, with Queenie and her twins, was #1 with the girl-twin born this morning. I brought her boy-twin over to her, and she gave it a wee lick and a reassuring bleat, but then promptly walked off, very briskly, the girl-twin trotting along beside her. I encouraged the boy-twin to follow, but it just stumbled forward intermittently, bleating half-heartedly. I carried it to #1, but to no better effect. I grabbed #1 and tipped her up to check her milk supply: absolutely no shortage whatsoever. I checked both lambs, and they seemed near-identical – apart from gender of course and what I can only describe as vim. The girl has it, the boy doesn’t. It’s the will to live. I tried one last time, but #1 was having none of it. I can only conclude that #1 adheres strictly to the principle of ‘survival of the fittest’. She has to feed to maintain milk supply, and that means the lambs have to keep up. If a lamb can’t do that, then … well, she’s quite prepared to just walk away and leave it to die. Well, I guess I hold to the principle too, in that I certainly wouldn’t breed from this weaker boy-lamb, but I do know that if I feed it, it will grow into a well-fed hogget wedder, that comes to a bucket, gives us two good fleeces, and puts a lot of meat in the freezer and on the balance sheet. So, it’s back home with us, and has already had two batches of Volustrum – and next feed it’ll start on milk substitute. Tilly helps too: being black like her, Tilly treats Hebridean lambs as if they are her puppies – licking clean at both ends!