Yesterday I walked along Stake Hill Road. It is a moorland track but still within Sheffield's city limits, close to the Derbyshire border. To the left of me was a two acre pasture with fifty to sixty ewes in it.
I was thinking to myself - I wonder when these sheep are going to give birth to their lambs? After all, we are in the middle of April. And then half way up the track I spotted one mama sheep with two newly born lambs. They must have been born in the field within the past twenty four hours. They were so gangly. It is always a real joy to see new spring lambs at this time of year.
And then at the top of the field I spotted another ewe behaving oddly. And there beside the stone wall I noticed a white pile of lifeless lamb. The mother was clearly confused and somewhat distressed. She backed off and looked at me - as if saying, "Please help!"
But there was nothing that I could do. Nothing anyone could do. Without human intervention, the lamb had probably suffocated on mucus or placenta. I did not capture an image of the dead lamb - largely because of the electrified wire fence between us but here is a picture of the mother. Can you feel her grief?
I really hope that mama can be given an orphan lamb to mother. What will she do with all that love otherwise?ReplyDelete
The little twins are just adorable
The one on the right seemed slightly drunk - as if its little legs could not bear its weight.Delete
Beautiful landscape. Birth is the best of times and the worst of times.ReplyDelete
It can be so traumatic in the animal world.Delete
Poor girl. That makes me want to cry.ReplyDelete
Go ahead then! Gregg won't mind.Delete
Those babies are so cute but that poor mama is sad to see.ReplyDelete
As she looked from the dead lamb to me and then back again, it was as if she was trying to speak.Delete
Just in the past couple of weeks, I have come across the expression a few times: If you have live stock, you will also have dead stock (said by farmers). Your post illustrates just how true that is, and how heartbreaking. But the twin lambs - and hopefully many more that will be born on that field and elsewhere - show how life mostly prevails.ReplyDelete
And that is how it will be in our pandemic.Delete
Oh. A sad story YP.ReplyDelete
That was and is a sad story. But also true sadly those lambs end up as lamb chops on our plates..ReplyDelete
If you offered the farmer £50, I am sure you could have one as a pet. They make great lawn mowers.Delete
I've been looking at that sheep's expression for half a cup of coffee. I wondered whether, but for your explanation, I could have got anywhere near working out what she was thinking/saying. Probably not.ReplyDelete
It's hard to read a sheep's face.Delete
"Nay Mr Wilkes". Am I watching Emmerdale?ReplyDelete
You could be a sheep wedding photographer. Seriously they are excellent YP.
Thank you Dave. Is it true that some bachelor farmers in Ireland marry sheep?Delete
Only if they are called baabara😁Delete
She does look confused, if not exactly grieving. I wonder if the lamb contacted the electric fence? Is that possible?ReplyDelete
Good point Steve but I don't think so. The dead lamb was a few yards away.Delete
Your title neatly sums it up.ReplyDelete
Hopefully the ewes that were lying down will bear live lambs.Delete
That's heartbreaking. I know it happens but still heart breaking.ReplyDelete
The two other lambs are so sweet.
They'd be even sweeter with mint jelly.Delete
Yuck! Not a fan of eating babies.Delete