Down at the farm…
Sometimes I feel very spoilt to live in the country, not only do we have a very great village pub, The Huntingfield Arms, but it is filled with lots of great villagers who eat and drink there.
One evening a few weeks ago we bumped into David Hull, a local farmer at the Henham and Heveningham Estates.
After chatting about his day, as a special treat we were invited to go and see the newly born lambs and three newborn calves at his local farm in Heveningham not far from the Hall.
David is highly passionate about his job, you can see just how much when he interacts with the animals, but usually you will catch him whizzing about the village on his quad bike!
He explained that this year they had a 205% higher conception rate, meaning 300 carried triplets, four delivered quads, 150 had with singles, but the majority produced twins.
Lambing started in earnest on 23rd March and by the 1st April 600 sheep had delivered successfully!
I have to say though there is always sadness as well as joy at this time of year, as a percentage of lambs do perish for a multitude of reasons.
Sadly the biggest single killer this year was ‘Storm Katie’ on Easter Monday, when the newly born lambs died of hypothermia.
The second was due to foxes with an increase in numbers from last year.
The ‘Herdwicks’ lambs (grey/black fluffy ones) came all the way from up North, they are very territorial and tend to stay together as a group.
I was surprised by just how tame the animals were at this age.
My partner Sam, along with his sister Anna and her partner Dan, must have spent a good half an hour having cuddles with the lambs and playing with the calves.
It was slightly odd picking up a lamb, as at this stage their fur is quite bubbly and rough and to be honest it doesn’t feel very natural to pick up a lamb, however it was certainly an experience.
We felt very fortunate to be invited along, and I was happy to see what wonderful conditions they had to live in.
If I were a cow or a sheep this farm is the one that I would want to be on.