Spring is a wonderful time of year to get out into the countryside and visit a working farm.
Lambing time will be in full swing by the end of March and into April at Roves Farm. The farm is expecting more than 400 lambs to be born in the barn, and with a special viewing platform looking down across the lambing shed there will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to see all the new born lambs.
The ewes were tupped by the rams last Autumn, whilst grazing on a neighbouring farm near Highworth. The gestation period for sheep is 147 days. The ewes were scanned in January to establish the number of lambs each ewe was carrying and were marked accordingly with a spray – red dot for a single lamb, blue dot for triplets and no dot for twins. This information is important to the farmer to know how much food each ewe should be receiving in the lead up to lambing time. A triplet will obviously need much more nutrition than a ewe carrying just a single.
The ewes will continue to graze in the fields until a few days before lambing starts on 22 March.
Twins and triplets may be supplemented with extra food during February and March. The lambing shed will be split into three areas; the main lambing area, a number of individual small pens for new born lambs and their mother, and a family pen (where all the lambs and ewes are moved to when they are a day or two old).
Each ewe is given a number, sprayed onto her wool after lambing, and each of her lambs are given the same corresponding number.
This enables the farmer to identify which lambs belong to which ewe in case one gets lost
There’s plenty more going on at the farm this month. ‘Nature Detective’ tractor rides explore the farm during term time in March and April, and the ever popular Easter Bunny is back to his old tricks again during the Easter holidays (8th – 23rd April). Regular daily activities include meet and feed the animals in Pets Corner, meet piglets of all shapes and sizes in the Animal Barn and visit the heated play barn.
Special toddler activity sessions run every weekday during term time in the heated activity barn at 10.30am & 1pm, including bubbles, stories and games, followed by all other daily activities.
T: 01793 763939