Craigduckie Lambing Experience
Lambing at Craigduckie
As the daffodils appear and the sun starts to warm, who wouldn’t want to cuddle baby lambs?
There is something quite magical about witnessing a new life coming into the world, watching nature do its thing as the ewe (mummy sheep) frantically licks her new born lamb dry, whilst it is trying to get to its feet for the first time.
When is lambing time?
Lambing time at Craigduckie is manic! We lamb 120 ewes the first week in March (the early lambers) and then start again on 1st April when we have around 1000 ewes giving birth from then until mid May. Anyone who knows me will have heard me saying it’s the time of year that I end up looking like a sheep, smelling like a sheep and my house looks like a shed! It’s a crazy farming life!
We are very excited to be able to welcome you to Craigduckie Shepherds Huts to witness it all for yourself - A true ‘Lambing Experience’. Back in the day shepherds would have moved their 'Shepherds Hut' to wherever their flock was to tend to them.
So, we wanted to answer a few of your most common ‘lambing’ questions-
Is it safe to be around the pregnant sheep?
Yes, although if you are pregnant or trying for a baby you’ll have to give it a miss this year. This is also a good time to mention that if you are squeamish it’s maybe best to avoid the births.
What can you help with during your ‘Lambing Experience’?
We are keen for you to get an authentic hands-on experience and help out if you wish. We are also happy if you just want to simply observe and cuddle lambs of course. It is a 24 hour a day job and there are always jobs to do. You can help us to:
Feed, water and bed the ewes who have given birth.
Check the pre-natal shed (all of the ewes waiting to give birth) for signs of lambing.
Check all the ewes and lambs that have graduated to the nursery shed.
Bottle feed the pet lambs -this needs done four times a day (7am, 12 noon, 5pm and 10pm) and is a great excuse for cuddles!
Assist any ewes who need help lambing (with our guidance)
Muck out, sweep out and bed little pens ready for the new arrivals.
How do you know the ewes due date?
This is a common question and is very simple.
We know when we put the tups (boy sheep) in the field beside the ewes! The 5th of November is the big day so this means we start lambing from 1st April. Of course there is always a few early ones that we need to look out for. We scan all of the sheep and they are marked with different colours depending on how many lambs they are carrying. Green on their backs = one lamb (single), no mark on the back = twins, orange on the back = triplets and orange and green on the back = quads!
How do you know when a ewe is lambing?
Well, like humans they are all very different and some can just pop them out quietly without you noticing others make quite a song and dance about it!
The keys signs to watch out for are:
Pawing at the ground (making a bed)
Restless - getting up and down
Looking at their tummies
A water bag emerging (looking like a big bubble)
Lying pushing (neck strained)
What should we wear?
Old, warm, waterproof clothes and wellies are best. We will provide gloves and plastic aprons to help keep you clean.
Are day 'Lambing Experiences' available?
Unfortunately not this year. The lambing experience is only available to the guests of our Shepherd Huts. This is solely down to lack of time. As much as we would love to welcome everyone we just simply don't have time at lambing time.
So if you fancy witnessing the magic that is 'lambing time' please visit our website to check availability. We are so excited to be sharing this ‘Shepherds Experience’ with you as this was the driving force behind our Shepherds Hut project.
If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us - we love to talk sheep!