Here at Hestur the ewes have given us a slight break from lambing like crazy! We are only getting about 15 ewes a day now, which seems like easy work compared to the 58 we had before!
I have been working the evening shifts lately, which begins after dinner and goes until about 2 am, and then I get up around noon and start all over again. I love being able to connect with the sheep during the silence of the night. Many of them have began trusting me and often come and sit near me to have their chests scratched or just to smell my coveralls. It's rather magical being able to watch the sun set and rise within a few hours of each other. From the barn I can watch the red and yellow hues kiss the mountain tops and witness the sheep in the fields nestled in the hillside with their lambs.
During the evening and night shifts when it is especially slow, we can take naps in the hay. Helgi says it most comfortable to lay on the giant bags of compact feed and use one of the old bags as a pillow, but I prefer to curl up in the hay bunkers. While I snooze for twenty minutes or so, the sheep come and eat from the hay and sometimes I pick some of the best hay and sneak them little bits. They seem very pleased to have a servant to wait on them.
There have been a few times during my evening shifts that I am quite nervous about a lamb not making it out alive during the birthing process. Some of the twins are very large and get tangled, especially when they both want to be the first out. I have gained a lot of confidence in untangling legs and sorting out which head belongs with which body, and sometimes the lamb is even backwards, which makes things exceptionally tricky if it has horns! This little guy had such big horns that he almost didn't fit through the ewe's pelvis! But with a little convincing and patience, I was able to get him out without any damage! He was quite a darling and loved to have his picture taken.
The sheep all have very distinct personalities. I love discovering the quirks about each sheep! Most of the yearlings are fearful of us, but over time they are beginning to learn how to trust us humans as well as how to look after their babies! Quite a lot to juggle for a yearling!
One of the best parts of Hestur is that we can look out our window and see the ewes and their babies that we have put onto pasture. The ewes roam the land munching on grass and the lambs spend their days jumping over each other and napping in the sun.
Pictured here is James and Richard! They are getting very big and are full of energy! They are very good about staying with their Momma.
With that, I am off for another fun evening shift! Stay tuned for more fun!!