The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Joyce Campbell reveals highs and lows of lambing

- Joyce Campbell

The weather we endured lambing during the last week of April was horrific. A spell of snow and sleet, driven on by gale-force Arctic winds. Our saving grace was that our gimmers are tupped 10 days later than the ewes and barely started when the storms struck.

We left the singles in hill park to lamb away quietly. There’s nothing better than finding a ewe standing over her lamb with a full belly in a bit of shelter. Luckily the twins and triplets lamb indoors which saved us from many perished lambs.

A friend recently asked me how tired do you feel during lambing?

It’s hard to put into words, but someone described it on Facebook as the time of year when you could fall asleep on a barbed wire fence!

I only see in black and white due to the sleep deprivatio­n. My face takes on a very out wintered complexion which helps to reinforce everyone’s opinion that I have lost all sense of reason.

My hands are so hacked that the simple job of picking up a wet lamb to dip its navel can cause a sharp intake of breath. But it’s still a magical time of year. I am privileged to witness the arrival of many new lives.

I am very grateful for fresh legs and a cheery face at this time of year. Human or canine!

Faith came to work with us from school last year to gain experience before heading off to college. She’s an enthusiast­ic team member, tackling any job with the same “no bother” answer, and the place will be very quiet without her.

It’s time to get the young guns out of the kennels, to gain their stripes walking freshly lambed ewes out from the grits.

I’m very honoured and delighted to have been asked to open NSA Highland Sheep, hosted by the Clark family at Kinnahaird, on May 31. It promises to be an excellent day at a very well-run farm. This event has grabbed the attention of a number of young people I know, so well done NSA Scotland for their efforts.

There’s one very talented young shepherd from Ullapool who’s helping at Highland Sheep, as well as competing in the dog trial and Young Shepherd event. He has designed sheet metal signs for our North Country Cheviot stand along with allowing our society to use his outstandin­g pictures of hill ewes in the mountains.

Despite being in the depths of Higher revision and exams, my own niece and nephew are preparing for it as well.

The study is interrupte­d each day to fit in a run on sheep for the dog trial team prospect. I have received huge support in preparing slideshow, pictures and music for our breed stand.

Enthusiasm and youth are great assets that we certainly require more of in our industry. We must make sure we ask for their opinions and listen, even if what we hear may challenge our thinking.

 ??  ?? Lambing is a magical time of year, if a little exhausting.
Lambing is a magical time of year, if a little exhausting.

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