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New lambs spring up across county

Farmer Grahame Hourie, Heathfield Farm St. Ola. (orkney photographic)

Lambing season is in full swing, as new born lambs have sprung up in fields across the county.

Grahame Hourie, of Heathfield Farm in St Ola, has seen an average of 40 to 50 lambs born every day of the season so far, but that number is starting to slow down.

Predominantly Texel and Cheviot crosses, Grahame says they’ve now overseen about 1,000 to 1,100 new lambs at the farm.

According to Grahame, the season up to now has been fortunate in more ways than one.

“Weather-wise has been very good. The winter that we had before — with the really cold snow — has kept the sheep in good condition, because they stayed around the feeders, they didn’t have to wander far and look for anything.

“They’re in good condition this year, they’re looking well, so it’s been good all-round the weather.”

Also, previous years have seen serious problems caused by ravens attacking and killing newborn lambs.

“We had a massive problem last year with ravens,” Grahame said, “but for some reason — I don’t know what’s happened —we’ve seen next-to-no ravens this year. I’ve only seen maybe four at the very most in the fields.

Meanwhile, prices of cattle and sheep have been very good, despite of the difficult operating conditions brought by COVID restrictions.

“They’re sky-high,” said Grahame, “we’re just hoping they stay there!”