You will have to be creative for some of the activities and use what you already have at home and use your imagination.The activity ideas are meant to inspire you – if you would like full instructions please let me know! l have also posted a couple of pictures that need printing off before you can do them – hopefully someone in your house will be able to print it off for you. Recently our pet lambs arrived – so l thought for this topic we could take a closer look at lambs.
Up until a couple of years ago we had a small flock of Jacob sheep.We had twelve ewes and a one ram called Rodney. Every October we used to put our ewes to the ram and then in the Spring, one hundred and forty seven days later, we would have lambs – sometimes as many as thirty. As Farmer Chris and l got older and were trying to do less jobs around the farm we sold our sheep. We were very sad when the sheep went but not as sad as Misty the sheepdog who loved nothing more than helping Farmer Chris round the sheep up – to count them,shear them or foot bath them. It also meant we had no lambs for our guests to cuddle and no lamb in the farm shop freezer ! Where we live we are surrounded by farmer friends that have flocks of hundreds of sheep.Every Spring when they lamb their ewes they sell their orphan lambs because the farmers are too busy to look after them. This was a perfect solution for us – to buy in orphan lambs every year and keep them until late Autumn when we close for our annual shutdown. It also had the added bonus for our our willing guests to bottle feed lambs every year.
This year at NBF we have twelve pet lambs of various breeds,that are all about four weeks old now. Pet lambs are lambs that need rearing by hand.This could be for several reasons like the ewe has rejected them,they had too many brothers and sisters for the ewe to cope with or the lamb may have not been a good feeder.
At the moment they are living in one of the horses stables as they need to have access to their food and shelter all day. They have a special bucket with teats on the front that is full of warm milk all day – so they can just go and have some milk whenever they want -just like if they were living with their Mummy still. ( Usually when we have guests staying with us the lambs are bottle fed during the day and just have the bucket at night time ). To start with milk is their food, but they also need to have a drink so they have a bucket of fresh water too. In their stable they also have a bowl with a few lamb pellets to nibble on – as they get bigger they will eat more of these.Now the day times have warmed up Farmer Chris wanted them out eating grass and having a run around in the sunshine.So he has tied open the stable door and made a corridor of hurdles to take them through the chicken house into the chicken paddock.The chickens don’t know what to make of their new friends, but love having the chicken house door open and keep jumping over the hurdles into the yard to have a nosy around.Farmer Chris and his trusty sheep dog ,Misty, then have to round the chickens up and put them back in the chicken paddock – but it keeps Misty busy!
The lambs are still too young to be left out all night but as soon as they have stopped needing milk – in about another three weeks – they will get moved to the back field by the piglets.They will still have access to a field shelter in case it rains , it’s cold at night or too hot during the day and they need some shade.Once the lambs stop having milk they will still need water and will eat grass and lamb pellets twice a day. The lambs will then live with us until the Autumn.
Lambs are baby sheep.The Mummy sheep are called Ewes and the Daddy sheep are called Rams.
Joke of the week
Q. How many sheep does it take to knit a jumper ?
A. Don’t be silly – sheep can’t knit !
This story is from our Bedtime Stories book in the cottages – The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright and published by Usborne. If you haven’t got this story you could ask for some help and find it online.Or you could watch it on you tube – https://youtu.be/aSCh3p9iGac Or maybe you already have another story about a sheep that you enjoy and could read that instead. The older children could always make one up.Maybe about one of the lambs you met when you have been staying here ?
I expect you all know this song.But instead of just singing about a black sheep, why don’t you make a new funny version up, using all the colours of the rainbow – like the Rainbow of Hope like a lot of people have got in their windows ? Or maybe you know another song about a sheep that you could sing ? Or you could sing Old Macdonald and he could have some lambs on his farm…… l think l would sing it by changing the words ‘ Old Macdonald’ to ‘Farmer CHRIS !’
We hope you have a good week and get a chance to do some of things we have suggested. If you make any of the activities , or you want to draw a picture of a lamb, write a poem or a story we would always like to see it. You could always ask very nicely if one of the grown – ups would send a photo to us of what you had made. We might even share it on Facebook !
lf you want to do something outside why don’t you join in – the who can grow the tallest Sunflower competition – which is over on our facebook page?
Love Farmer Chris and Tracey x
PS – You can still access our Chicken’s page here