Saturday, 21 January 2017

It's twins!

You know how it is, you think you're pregnant, you eat for two, turns out you're not, and now you're a fat ewe. No? Babs does. She knows all too well where eating for two but being one gets you. I believe the technical, and perhaps unkind, terminology is "big old unit". In truth she isn't entirely to to blame. In truth, she isn't to blame at all. We are.

We've never scanned our ewes after tupping. Who would be prepared to hike out here to scan just three or four ewes? Not cost effective for anyone. So we've always relied upon the "signs of pregnancy". This is not, however, a fail-safe form of pregnancy testing. And there is no way of getting a ewe to wee on a stick. Unless it happens to be lying underneath her at exactly the right moment. But those aren't the right sort of sticks anyway. The problem was that last year neither of us could agree if Babs was pregnant. I spent A LOT of time on hands and knees, lurking behind, below and alongside her, trying to spot sticky outey nipples under her all encompassing fleece cloud. I was sure she was pregnant. David said no. I was wrong, he was right. Don't you just hate that. She was faking it, enjoying four weeks of supplementary feeding at our expense. And thus, she became an enormous cloud with legs and a face.

This year we decided that this could not happen again. Not good for our bank balance. Not good for our ewes. Some tip tapping on the keyboard later and we found our saviour, Mr West Wales Scanning. No flock too small. No ewe too big. There's always a downside, and that came in the form of fitting us in while he's en route to bigger better and more financially lucrative flocks, meaning an early start in the dark. I am so not a morning person, but every time I drag my sorry backside out of bed as the sun rises, it's worth it ....

The fleecy ladies had a rude awakening, but Mr West Wales Scanning had an excellent bedside manner; "this will feel a bit cold" (no kidding, the outside temperature was still below zero, so goodness only knows what temperature the lubed probe was at). Who was he telling? Me? I winced in empathy. Babette was up first. Fumble. Pause. Baited breath. Announcement. Twins! Man handle the flock. Moment of disaster averted as an errant lamb gets tangled in the scanning kit. Bychan, first time mum, next. A single! Pascal makes a bid for freedom. Almost lost her in a gap in the hurdles as I was momentarily distracted by trying to get a photo for the blog, this blog. Back in control, fumble, pause.... a single! Last but not least it's Babs' turn. Her last chance saloon after coming up empty last year. She's 7 years old. Has she come the end of her productive life? I hold my breath.... a single! Hooray for Babs! So that's five potential new lives to look after. How to celebrate? Why, with hay of course! 


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