Sheep do not exist in exposed fields out of choice. Sheep are very good at finding shelter wherever they can - walls, old trailers, tussocks even. A bleak field with only wire fencing offers no protection. All our fields have shelter of some sort for the sheep. The first picture shows Rip the dog wondering what was happening in the shelter. The second shows what was going on. The third is of another shelter, popular with both Soays and Hebrideans. Note the vertical slats which keep rain out but let a drying breeze through. The middle picture also shows other essentials. In the background is a hay heck - sheep need free access to hay at this time of year. The hay bale at the front of the shelter also keeps draughts out. Inside the shelter are a mineral lick bucket and a water bucket - not too full and only placed in after the lambs have beeen born. The mineral licks are normally outside near the feeding troughs. This was placed inside purely to get the sheep used to their new shelter.
These pictures show the stages in lambing from the final push to the first feed.
A few more lamb pictures
Taken back in 2011. Daisy is an unusually coloured Soay - and so are her lambs. Daisy and Brigitte had just had a head-butting session then settled down to graze. The Hebridean ewe lamb is already sampling grass and a day or so old. Five years on, Brigitte is no longer lambing but still indulges in the odd gentle head butting session and still joins in with the lambs in their mad charges around the fields.
If a lamb is needing some extra care and attention, it's easy to rig up a temporary mother and baby unit.