Lambing at Pry House Farm, Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

Swaledale ewes and lambs at Pry House Farm.

From the middle of April through to the end of May the fields and pastures surrounding Pry House Farm are full of sheep and lambs. When first born, the ewe keeps her lambs close but when they are few days old she wanders off to graze and the lambs play or just sleep in the sunshine.

So how do the lambs find their mothers when they get seperated? Every lamb and every ewe has a unique ‘bleat’. A ewe will seek out her lamb by the noise it makes and by its smell and will not settle until she is reunited with her offspring.

I have two Herdwick sheep. This is Hetty with her twin lambs born on 14th March.
Minutes old

Most of our sheep have their lambs outside but we do lamb some indoors. The shearlings (first time mums) occasionally need a bit of help. They are easier to keep an eye on when they are in the building. This shearling ewe did not get up straight away after giving birth and we could easily have lost this fine lamb had I not been there. The mother’s natural instinct soon kicked in and she immediately began the bonding procedure; licking and bleating, licking and bleating so that wherever they are outside in the field they will always find each other.