As lambing season is fast approaching on the Harrison Spinks Farm, we’re revisiting the special story of Hugo the sheep. Hugo was born on the farm last lambing season under difficult circumstances. His mother gave birth to him early out in the fields, rather than in the lambing barn like the rest of the lambs. Unfortunately his siblings and mother did not survive but Hugo was a fighter. He was taken in by the caring Harrison Spinks farmers, Jo and Gary McPartland and was given lots of care and attention.
For months, Hugo was kept in a pen in Jo and Gary’s front garden and was bottle fed to get his strength up. Jo even made him a little coat to keep him warm in the stormy weather. Perhaps he was a little too well fed as Jo had to make him an even bigger coat as he out-grew his old one!
Hugo was, and still is a real character. He loves meeting new people, and when he was a lamb he even made a few special appearances at some weddings that were held at Hornington Manor! Now, nearly a year on, Hugo is almost unrecognisable. He is fit, healthy and enjoys life roaming with the 600-other sheep on the Harrison Spinks Farm. He loves running over to farmers Gary and Jo to say hello.
Jo McPartland feeding Hugo and his friends
In light of Hugo’s story, January was an exciting month on the Harrison Spinks Farm. It is when we found out how many lambs are expected in March. One by one the ewes are scanned using an ultra sound which listens out for heartbeats. This determines how many lambs the ewe is holding. To identify how many lambs the ewe is due, Farmer Gary marks the ewes. One spot on the bum is given if the ewe is carrying triplets, one spot on the shoulder if the ewe is holding one lamb and no spots if the ewe is holding twins.
The scan monitor
Excitingly, the results from the scans showed that around 200 lambs are due at the end of March. From now the pregnant ewes will be separated in the fields, where those expecting just one lamb will be put in a different field to the multiples, here, the multiples will be given extra feed to ensure their lambs get enough nutrients.
A week before the lambs are due all the Ewes will be bought into the lambing barns and monitored by Gary, Liam and Jo, eagerly waiting for them to give birth.
We will keep you updated on the pregnant ewes and when lambing season has arrived! For now, make sure you follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page to keep up to date with all the latest Harrison Spinks news.