Ewe scanning success!

  • 27th Jan 2020

After another successful Ewe Scanning event, we are happy to confirm that we are expecting 72 lambs in the spring!

On Sunday 19th January, The Barn were full of eager eyed visitors all wanting to witness the miracle of life right before their eyes.

Our rare breed and native ewes were scanned by our pregnancy scanner, Robin Kendall, whilst Pip Coard, Heligan Livestock Manager, was on hand to explain how the scans work and what exactly they were showing.

We have five rare breeds of sheep here at Heligan: Devon and Cornwall Long Wool, Ryeland, Kerry Hill, Jacob and Herdwick.

The scans showed us that we have 38 ewes expecting lambs from 16th March through to early May. We have 13 single pregnancies, 17 sets of twins and 7 groups of triplets. We are also delighted to announce that we are expecting our first set of quadruplets here at Heligan! These belong to a Kerry Hill ewe and she is due between 27th March and 4th April.

Our lead breed, Devon and Cornwall Long Wool, have had great results, with 23 ewes expecting 36 lambs between them as part of our ongoing successful conservation breeding programme.

The expectancy of 72 lambs in total, which is a 176% scanning percentage, is on par with many commercial flocks and a great sign of our flock’s good health.

Knowing how many lambs each ewe is carrying is essential in ensuring that the ewes get the right care and feed routine to help their bodies cope with the extra demands of pregnancy.

The ewes will be bought to The Barn and nearby paddocks 4 weeks before they are due to give birth and will be separated into groups depending on how many lambs they are carrying. This will allow us to feed the correct quantities of food to ensure our multiples aren’t too small and our single births aren’t too big. Once born, the lambs will stay in the barn for 48 hours, before going outside to one of the Higher Beef paddocks to stretch their fluffy little legs. 

From mid-March, The Barn will transform into a maternity ward to welcome all of the new arrivals. Visitors will, once again, be able to see our new-borns as they bounce around The Barn, enjoying their new, exciting world from Saturday 28th March to Monday 13th April.

After you’ve stopped off to see the adorable lambs, you can also enjoy Easter at The Lost Gardens. Help ‘Lowenna the Lost Lamb’ rediscover the spring in her step by exploring the Gardens and noticing signs of spring, collecting stamps in your book as you go. You can also stop off at our spring marquee for some crafty activities and games for the whole family.

Plan your visit now so you don’t miss this spring highlight in the Heligan calendar – you might even be lucky enough to see a live birth in The Barn!

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