There’s a 30-minute rule-of-thumb in lambing which is a good guide of when to go in and help a ewe. Contractions starting, water bag out, lamb out. It can be much quicker than this, but if it takes longer, it’s always worth going in to check as a delay can indicate a difficult presentation that needs righting, and we’ve had our fair share of those this year.
There is no similar rule for the length of time between lambs being born. I’ve sat with a Shropshire ewe who literally popped three out one after the other as if they were on a conveyor belt with no pause between each, and others can take a couple of hours. This morning’s ewe fell into that latter category. She lambed with ease early this morning and settled down immediately to mother it, nickering all the while and clearly enjoying her charge.
The scan showed a second was due so we watched and waited. Peter was still up from the night shift, Phil had risen early and was starting work for the day, and I had been called upon as always incase any help was needed; so there we are in the early hours of a Sunday morning, literally still dark, all up and standing in the barn while most of the country still slept.
No dramas to report on this one, just a long wait on a cold night with a bit of banter and lots of coffee.