Twins waiting on the slopes of Butser

Nearly all the 250 ewes which live on Butser Hill have now had their lambs. With a lambing percentage of 150% this means that there are nearly 400 of them! They are lambed off site where the shepherd can give them all the tlc that they need, away from the severe Butser weather and any disturbance.

When they are first-born the lambs spend 24 hours alone with the ewe before being put in to a larger group of a dozen or so others. This gets them used to recognising and finding their mothers, a skill that is essential before they can be turned out on to the wide open spaces of Butser Hill.  All lambs have a rubber ring attached to their tails, and the young rams are castrated in the same way.

After 3 to 4 days of what is termed ‘mothering up’ the families are taken to a sheltered part of Butser Hill where they can settle in to their new home. The ewes will all be wormed before they are released. At this time of year with good grass growth the only supplementary feed used is vitamin and mineral blocks.

In 12 to 14 weeks the first lambs will be ready market and they will be all be off site by the Autumn when the rams arrive to start the whole process off again. In the world of sheep the ram takes no part in the upbringing of  lambs and will only come in to contact with the ewes for a couple of months each year.

On Wednesday the 11th April there will be holiday activities taking place in the visitor centre involving ‘woolly arts and crafts’ followed by a visit to see the lambs. Pre booking required. More information about the Park’s events and activities are available on the web-site at www.hants.gov.uk/qecp

For more details about organic Butser lamb have a look at our Farm Business Tenant’s web-site at www.rothervalleyorganics.com

Ewe and lamb

Advertisements