Zoe Colville on Lambing Season
By Zoe Colville, The Chief Shepherdess
The adrenaline is truly flowing from around March onwards. Lambing time is approaching, we’ve managed to keep the pregnant ewes safe and well through the unforgiving winter and the new grass shoots and longer days are on the horizon but those last few weeks before their due date drags.
So much to do in so little time and we certainly aren’t twiddling our thumbs, but some may say it’s the calm before the storm in some senses. The anticipation of if Mother Nature will be kind to us this year, sweaty palms in case we’ve chosen the wrong rams and the ultimate heartrate inducing topic of…will we have enough grass. All very rock n’ roll around here.
The start of lambing is always dull. Craving that rush of seeing lambs taking their first breaths, surviving on very little sleep and that nervous energy that comes with exhaustion and sugar, a lot of sugar. The rules you live your life by go out the window when you are scoffing a doughnut at 7am because you’ve been up 3 hours already and wearing the same socks three days in a row doesn’t even cross your mind for being gross. You become selfless to those woolly girls, nothing else matters and that’s a tonic when you’ve spent your whole life sweating the small stuff.
I’ve said it once and I’ve said it again, it should be on the curriculum at school for children to take part in lambing season. It's therapy to rise before the sun and push yourself for those six weeks. Being so in tune with the weather and nature is soothing and we also live in a caravan on the farm during that time so can hear the birds and if it’s blowing a gale or raining which is pretty grounding when you are used to waking up to an alarm clock or the central heating coming on in the mornings.
With everything up in the air in your bubble and having zero control over the day’s events, I feel the need to have a routine of sorts or I would lose my mind. Something that helps this is having to bottle feed the lambs and goat kids every 3 to 4 hours. This offers a chance to sit down firstly but also its relaxing in the madness to just concentrate on that one thing, that they drink their milk. Finding that quiet time is so important for our mental health and once back to reality it’s something I am going to fit in to my daily routine also.
About The Little Farm Fridge
Zoe spent her childhood outdoors with her imaginary animals and tent making. At 18 she moved to London to train as a hairdresser where she spent all her time until she met Chris and slowly migrated back to Kent. Slowly they have built up their flocks and herds until now they have quite a menagerie of animals, grazing pockets of land all over the county (and beyond). One thing is for certain, the passion they have for their livestock is ever present. Even in the wettest winter or the driest summer they strive for nothing but the best.
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