Today we witnessed something rather special. One of our Boreray ewes gave birth to twins and we were able to watch it from a distance. Zelda was born in 2011 and this was her 3rd lambing. I think she has only given birth to singletons before, but she seemed fully in control of the situation.
She could have picked a better day - we're unseasonably cold here in Orkney at the moment, with frequent heavy showers and very strong winds.
I've been advised by my friend, Bob, who has kept Boreray sheep for many
years, that it is far better to leave them well alone at this time and
let them follow their primitive instincts. So the photos below were
taken from just outside the field and we used binoculars to follow the
Zelda has shed most of her fleece, so she is sporting the 'lion's mane' look at the moment. Borerays are one of the few breeds that do shed their fleece. She has the unusual dark colouring that a few Borerays have and it looks as if the 2nd lamb may also turn out to be darker than average.
The first photo was taken at 1.03pm just after, by chance, we spotted that she was about to lamb. The first lamb was born at 1.14pm and the second at 1.25pm.
The two photos below were taken a couple of hours later at 3.15pm. Both lambs up and lively and eager to feed. Zelda still has to deliver the placenta, but when she does she'll lick and eat everything, leaving the ground clean.
ETA - 3.45pm. Zelda has delivered some of the placenta, and is eating it, but there is more to come.
These last 2 photos are a bit grey and blurry because they were taken facing into driving rain - it's freezing and really wet outside at the moment. Hopefully she'll take the lambs to a more sheltered spot when she's finished clearing up after the birth.