The week beginning the 16th of September 2006
Saturday the 16th
Yvette and her first lamb

Yvette lambed this evening, right on schedule! We had observed the ram with her five months ago and I'd looked up a previous gestation record for an idea of her likely date.

She spent the late afternoon off on her own and the early evening in a very alert state, so I was relieved to find her actually getting on with lambing when I went to check just after 8.30pm.

I photographed the birth of the first lamb and you can see it here if you wish. The second lamb didn't arrive until just before midnight. Both lambs are rams, of almost equal size.

Sunday the 17th
Yvette and her lambs Yvette and her lambs

Yvette and her lambs.

R2 pregnant heifers

These are the thirteen pregnant heifers, all grazing the large paddock over the road. I'm having a look at them every couple of days, so I am not surprised by any sudden udder development.

Tuesday the 19th
moving the heifers from the hill over the road

The grass is getting a little short on the hill and I'm getting increasingly nervous about the timing of the calving of a couple of the heifers (probably ridiculously early to be concerned), so we brought them down and back across the road this afternoon.

Of course they all dashed down the hill, kicking up their heels, so I imagined their calves doing somersaults so they'll all come out backwards!

Wednesday the 20th

Babette looks uncomfortable and Lamb's lying around with her feet up.

four cows in the lane

After consulting my list of cows and their possible calving dates, I drafted three of the heifers out of their mob and put them in one of the flat paddocks, then went out and drafted four of the cows out of the fat cow mob and put them in the adjacent paddock. I'm hoping that they'll become happily reacquainted overnight and be ready to mix peaceably in one paddock tomorrow.

Thursday the 21st
four cows in the lane

The four cows and three heifers on the flats mixed together without any drama (at least not while I was watching) and I went out to fetch the earliest calvers from the thin cow mob at the back of the farm.

No matter how quietly I urge them to leave the top of the hill where they were grazing, they always go barrelling down it as fast as they can and I cringe, wondering how they can move so fast when some of them are so heavily pregnant!

The grey cow isn't officially due for a couple of weeks, but her udder is filling and her gestation period is always shorter than most of the other cows. Bull #26, the sire of her calf, has a Gestation Length EBV slightly below the Angus breed average, so it will be interesting to discover if the grey cows calf comes any earlier than usual this year.

Friday the 22nd
Yvette's elder lamb

Yvette's lambs are reasonably unafraid of me. There's something so delightful about picking up and cuddling a dry, well-fed, healthy lamb on a sunny day.

The time has come again, to begin the annual Isla's Calving Date Competition, which you may enter here.