Saturday 5 February 2022

Ram lamb hanging back

We currently have three ram lambs, born last March, which we have kept on because they were still on the small side when their remaining siblings went off last autumn. They are with two adult rams, making a group of five who have been kept separate from the ewes over winter.

The rams have some supplementary feed (primarily for the benefit of the ram lambs) in addition to good quality hay, which is always available, and whatever grass there is to be had at this time of the year. First thing this morning all was much the same with them except one ram lamb was a little slow coming to the trough. This lamb, one of twins, had been rejected by his mother when he was born and had to be bottle fed. Despite being under-sized he is normally unhesitant in taking his position along the line of troughs for the supplementary sheep food. So, although in every other respect he looked fine, it was uncharacteristic for him to hang back. 

Sheep are well known for not displaying signs of ill-health until, or unless, it reaches a critical stage which might well be the point of no return. This is perhaps an evolutionary defence strategy against potential predators who might otherwise pick off the weak members of the flock or herd. Hence the need for vigilance and regular observation of the flock and gaining an understanding of sheep behaviour. This lamb was up on his feet and feeding and he was holding his head up, but as a precaution I have brought him into the barn and given him some lamb boost which is a high energy nutrient normally given to new born lambs. In the barn he will be out of the elements and it will be easier to keep an eye on him. Hopefully, just a short term measure.

More sowing today: Leeks ('Musselburgh') begin their long journey to harvesting next winter; Broad beans (ever-reliable 'Aquadulce'); and Shallots. I grow the 'banana shallots', a variety called 'Zebrune', from seed as we find this type are the most useful in the kitchen. I have never seen them sold as sets but I find growing them from seed is fairly straight forward. All today's sowings were placed in the unheated greenhouse where they should germinate well being hardy crops.   


Shallot 'Zebrune'. I get  the
seeds from Kings Seeds.


  1. Today I have been ordering seeds hoping that the Raised Bed will produce good crops this year.

    1. I am sure it will. Its easy to get carried away looking a a seed catalogue!