We have some new arrivals to welcome to the farm, two lambs called Martin and Shaun. Their names were drawn at random from all those suggested by our students (even though we did tell them they were both girls…!) Both were born as one of three triplets to separate mothers, who couldn’t provide enough milk to support three lambs. After getting their first milk from mum, which contains vital antibodies to get their immune systems started, they came to Bonterre at only a few days old so that they could be bottle-fed.
For the first couple of weeks they’ve been finding their feet, staying warm inside, building their strength and growing fast. We started them off with bottles of specially made up milk 5 times a day, which the children have been helping with at feeding times. A few weeks in and they’re now loving exploring the outdoors, bouncing around their paddock in the sunshine. We’ve slowly been reducing the frequency of bottle feeds as they start to graze and eat more solid foods, much to the relief of a very tired team!
They’ve also been recently introduced to our two adult sheep, Twinks and Doris, who have been teaching them all about life on the farm – where the best grass is, how to escape the paddock when Su isn’t looking, everything they need to know. We can keep them warm and well fed, but it’s now up to Twinks and Doris to teach them how to be sheep!
At the minute Martin and Shaun are still staying indoors overnight, keeping them safe from foxes or badgers that can attack smaller lambs. In a few more weeks, they’ll be big enough to stay out with the others permanently and will be able to fend for themselves. We’ll still be a bit anxious for their first few nights out, but we’re looking forward to watching them grow and seeing their personalities develop.