Before we lived on the farm, it was easy to think of myself as a farmer’s wife but until you are actually there, you are not.
Yes you are used to the unsociable hours, not being able to take holidays and washing clothes caked in anything from mud and muck to blood, but until you are actually living there, you have no idea.
I admit it; it has been a culture shock.
With every ten births, there is likely to be a death. Cows struggle giving birth, they have to be helped with labour. Sheep don’t take to their lambs and the lambs have to be bottle-fed.
On Easter Sunday I got really excited. Our first lambing season on the farm and we had two pet lambs who needed bottle-feeding. They were so cute and I was so excited.
Sheep only have two teats so if one has triplets; you either leave them with the mother and hope they all get enough milk or take one away to feed yourself to ensure they do. This year we choose the latter.
We are nearing the end of lambing and, up to now, we have 32 pet lambs. Cute you may think. Well they were at first but feeding 32 lambs every four hours is a long, long job.
The bigger ones are now drinking from specialist feeding buckets with four teats. The smaller and or younger ones still have to have one of us feeding them.
Thankfully, unlike human babies, we haven’t had to feed them through the night. They get their last feed at about 10pm and their first between 6 and 7am.
They are lovely though. When you see them frolicking around after their bottle, your heart melts.
To thank me for helping, Ged has said I can keep one!! I have called him Minty. He was a little runt triplet born on Easter Sunday.
Ged has since told me that he hadn’t expected Minty to make it but I have nurtured him and neither he, nor any of the other pet lambs have died this year.
This spring has certainly been an eye opener for me. At times I have wondered if I am cut out to be a farmer’s wife. I love animals and get very emotional when they don’t make it. It is also hard work juggling being a mother, running a house, working and helping out on the farm but we have done it together.
I have learnt to try and not get as attached to the animals.
I have not named the new chickens or any of the lambs (apart from Minty who will be a pet anyway).