Thursday 21 May 2020

Lambing Round Up 2020

Lambing time has almost finished at Pry House Farm.  Here is a round up of how we got on.

Most years we have a 'miracle lamb', a lamb that survives against the odds.  This little lamb came early and we didn't hold out much hope for him.  Like all early babies he was very sleepy and a bit slow to get going.  His mother had plenty of milk so we took her milk and fed him with a bottle.  Ewe's milk is so much better than dried milk.  Its a bit more effort but always worth it.  'Lal lamb soon rallied round and was feeding off his mother.  Now he is strong enough to live outside.  Here he is going out to pasture with his mother.  You can see how motherly she is - he will be well looked after!
Read about another 'miracle lamb' here
Unfortunately its not always a happy ending.  Presently I have three pet lambs to look after.  At this late stage in lambing time it is unlikely they will be adopted or as we call it 'mothered on'.  They have a lovely big pen to play in, they are bottle fed four times a day and have lamb pellets to nibble on in between.  In two or three weeks I will put them in the garth (the small field behind the Shepherd's Hut).  In the garth they can be weaned off the bottle, they are safe and have access to shelter.
I have successfully hand reared lambs before.

Pet lambs from the past - they remain inquisitive, mischievous and cheeky!!

When driving around the dale don't be surprised if you suddenly come across sheep on the road.  We move them from fell to field and from field to farm for a multitude of reasons.  At this time of year its for tagging, marking and recording.  Our Swaledale sheep are a pedigree flock. The lambs breeding has to recorded and by law they must have identification tags in their ears.

Sheep ont' road!

Making their way back to the fields - next stop the open fell.

Heidi and Hetty, the Herdwicks, and their lambs cannot go onto the fell because they are not hefted to these moors.  They would not know which was their 'patch' and it is possible that they would wander for miles.  They will spend the next few weeks in lowside, by the river, below Pry House.  Hetty has twins and needs this young, nutritious grass to produce milk for two lambs.  Having only one lamb, Heidi could go to a rougher pasture but as they are such good friends it would be unkind to split them up.

This is Vincent and Corra, Hetty's twin lambs

and below

Heidi with her single tup lamb, Victor.

Despite lockdown, time gone so quickly this lambing time.  We are not quite finished - five sheep are hanging onto their four-legged bundles - but for now here are a few 2020 lambing photos.

Saturday 2 May 2020

We'll Meet Again

We'll meet again and I know where!

Here's another round of photographs of Swaledale sent to me by Pry House Farm and Hillcrest holiday cottage guests.  I hope you enjoy looking at them and identifying where they are taken from.  Thanks to everyone who has taken part. If anyone else has any please do send them to:




Three photos of the River Swale.  I'm sure you will recognise the location of the first two but the last one isn't Wainswath but much further down river, Orgate Force at Marske.
Can you spot Hillcrest Cottage?

To keep you up to date with what is happening on the farm I will finish with a few lambing time photos.  The sheep have lambed very well and as you can see we have a lot of ewes and lambs on home field.  Every day they get supplementary feed in the form of sugar beet which they love!  When its finished all those lambs have to pair up with the right mothers!  The bleating / bonding noise that the lamb heard as its mother licked it dry at birth and the bleat the lamb returned is unique to each mother and lamb.  Even in a large crowd they recognise each other - its amazing to watch.

Spot the odd ones out!
The Herdy lambs and the Swaledale lambs all play, race and chase together.

We pride ourselves on providing super comfy beds Pry House Farm B&B but the lambs go one better when they snuggle up in a bed of sweet meadow hay!

I hope you have had fun taking a trip round Swaledale from your armchair.  
Stay safe and well 'till we meet again.