Lambing Time

It’s Spring!  The clocks have changed, so we can look forward to more hours of daylight, and enjoy the longer evenings.  All around us are signs of spring… and one thing we particularly love to see in our fields are the lambs.

(Photo by Lawrence Monaghan)

(Photo by Lawrence Monaghan)

Within our school community there are a number of farming families.  Farming in the Dales is a tough job, and farmers work hard all year round with few holidays and long hours.  This time of year is especially busy for the sheep farmers in the dale: it’s lambing time.  Edward, the youngest member of our class, helps  his parents and grandparents on their farm.  Here he explains what goes on:


We’d love to compare farming in the dales with farming elsewhere.  

Are there any farmers in other classes out there?
How does your life compare to Edward’s?
How does Edward’s life compare to a farmer’s son’s life 50 years ago?


39 thoughts on “Lambing Time

  1. A top post and fabulous commentary provided by Edward. He certainly works very hard, I bet Edward sleeps soundly at night!
    I wonder how much milk a lamb normally drinks in a day?

    Mr E

  2. Edward and I had a lovely morning this morning talking ‘farming’ He certainly knows his stuff. In some ways farming is easier than it was 5o years ago because of all the super equipment you can get nowadays and the advances in animal medicine. On the other hand the pressure is greater to produce more, and the paperwork covering all the rules and regulations seems to take longer than looking after the animals sometimes. However if you can put up with all that, there is nothing more rewarding, particularly in our beautiful part of the country.

  3. I loved this film of Edward on the farm! Doesn’t he know a lot about the sheep and how to look after them?

    I don’t know if Edward knows this yet…but I’m going to spend the day on their farm next Tuesday! I grew up in a city, but I always wanted to live in the Dales and I love living and working here. I want to find out more about the lives and work of the farmers in our parishes and Edward’s Mum has very kindly agreed to have me for the day.

  4. Adam Henson eat your heart out. Edward could do a lambing live programme for the school!
    It was lovely to hear Edward talking so enthusiastically and knowledgeably about the sheep. Like him it was once my job to bed up and feed the newly lambed sheep. Hard work but satisfying. His film revived lots of good memories for me.

  5. A brilliant post, Edward. Do you have any Jacobs on your farm? They are my favourites. We have a few farms in this part of England (the tropical south) but a lot of the farmers seem to tend crops (like strawberries) rather than animals. Also, many of the fields are covered with solar panels rather than sheep. Good luck with the rest of the lambing season!

  6. WOW Edward,
    What a very interesting post!
    We are farmers too! We would love to meet you on skype?

    We live on a huge cattle station and have 65,000 head of cattle all destined for the live export market in Indonesia.

    There are 6 kids in our school.

    It is great to meet another farming kids!

    check out our blog!

    From Jasmine Shannon
    Tipperary Station School Principal and students of Tipperary!!

  7. Wow Edward! This is a FABULOUS post – you talk really clearly about the lambs and you put your information across really well! I am SO impressed! As I drove home last night I saw two lambs chasing each other in a field and I thought about you and all of our other farming families and how hard you are working. Well done – I’m really proud of you!

  8. Edward
    This is such a fantastic post. We are a school in rural New Zealand and 95% of our students are involved in the Dairy industry. I am going to put your video on the data projector in the class this morning and show it as a farming example from the other side of the world. I will get our students to compare their farms to yours – although we dont have any sheep farmed around here. I loved the fact that you mentioned so much information and were filmed doing it – it would have been great to read about it but you allowed the information to be spoken and I think in a way it had more impact because we could see the lambs. Mrs Monaghan, your parents and your class must be so proud of you this is a fantastic, fantastic effort. Our class will be in touch.

    Mr Webb and Room One, Auroa Primary School, Taranaki, New Zealand

  9. Thank you Edward for telling me so much about your lambs. You told me so much about moles last year as well. I am really impressed by how much you know about farming and how you spoke so clearly.

  10. Hi we are students from Mr.Webbs class in Taranaki, New Zealand we enjoyed your video about your responsibilities and learning aboutwhat you have to do. In New Zealand we dont really have many sheep farmers but we do farm cows or as known as dairy farming. We have responsibilities similar to ours but slightly different. When you said you feed your lambs and sheep cake we didn’t understand what you ment.
    Heavenlee, Kaiah, Brylee, Room1, Auroa School, Taranaki, New Zealand.

    • Dear Heavenlee, Kaiah and Brylee,
      Cake is something that you feed to sheep, they are like mini cylinders and I think they have corn in them. You buy them in bags of 25 kilos.
      What are your responsibilities?
      From Edward

  11. Very good post iv’e never seen so many sheep whats you’re favourite part about being a sheep farmer what do you not like about being a sheep farmer

    • I like being a sheep farmer because they are not very hard to handle, and although you have to feed them every day in winter, in summer you don’t have to feed them every day because they are out in the fields and they eat the grass. I like breeding them, my favourite breed is the Swaledales.
      From Edward

  12. Hi im Lucas and im Fletcher and I live on a dairy farm but fletcher is not a farmer

    We have over 350 cows
    Some days I will go and feed out with the tractor and milk the cows in the spring time I help with calving and tagging I like getting the cows in on the motorbike and after milking I will go shut them into there paddock for the night and I do lots of other jobs like putting up fences and more.

    Great post Edward keep up the good work

    check out our blogs

    • Dear Fletcher and Lucas,
      We also have some cows, about 60 on our farm. We breed them for meat, and then we sell them. We also have to do tagging, and I go on the motorbike too to get the sheep in, sometimes with my dad and sometimes on my own.

  13. We have a farm that has about 270 and my Dad and has workers milk twice a day , in Spring I help feed the calfs . I also help Milk and teat spray and get the cows in. At home I do the rubbish, scraps, dishes and feed the dog.
    Room 1, Auroa, Taranaki, NZ .

    • Dear Tom and Keifer,
      I have got a dog called Bob, but he’s a bit mad, when you let him off the lead he goes scrapping round the yard and chases the hens, so we have to keep him tied up. If we can we’re going to train him up as a sheep dog, but I’m don’t think he’ll make a very good one. Our other sheep dog is called Flash, and he’s a bit better!
      Is your dog a pet or a farm dog? What is he called?
      From Edward

  14. Hi I’m Isabelle. My parents are dairy farmers. They have around 800 cows. It is autumn here and we have 150 cows that are about to calf or already have. My jobs are, to cook tea or do house work. In spring my jobs are to feed the calfs or tag the calf when they are still with there moms.
    Isabelle, Auroa School, Taranaki, New Zealand.

    • Dear Isabelle,
      We have to do the same with our sheep. About 2 days after they are born, we tag them and ring their tails, then their tails drop off and this stops them from getting maggots around that area in the summer when they are in the fields.
      They get tagged because it’s the law, and it helps us identify them, and we put numbers on their side so we know which lamb is with which mother.
      How do you know which calves are with each cow? Do you put numbers on them?
      From Edward

  15. Riley M And Blake Auroa School, Taranaki New Zealand.
    Hey Edward this is an amazing video of how to lamb in spring (England). I loved the way you explained the black lamb very clearly and all the other things. Riley (me) I have been living in Somerset England for the last 10 years but now I live in New Zealand. Me and Blake said keep up the fantastic work. When you have some spear time check out our blog!!
    Thank You

    • Dear Riley and Blake,
      Our black sheep are called Zwarbles (Swaledales) and we have about 5. We have them because my mum rescued them from going to the fat market (where they are sold for food), but my dad doesn’t like them because he can’t get them fat.
      Do you prefer England or New Zealand? I would love to go to New Zealand, I’ve got a video about sheep farming in NZ, and I just want to go there.
      From Edward

  16. Hello Edward,
    I am a student from Mr Webbs class in New Zealand. I really like your post about lamb farming. We have just done a writing task where we look at your video and write down your responsibility’s and then compare ours with yours. They do not have to be the same. Here are my responsibility’s:

    Get the wood in and stack it.
    Feed the chooks and collect their eggs
    Set the table
    and do homework. I really like the post about lambing.

    • Dear Tahana,
      I also have to get the logs in for our fire, and I feed the hens (I’ve got about 25) and I collect the eggs – we get about 15 a day. I don’t have to set the table and I try to avoid homework if I can!

  17. Our class was watching your lambing time video and we thought it was amazing. It is so great that you have so many jobs to do and responsibilities such as feeding the Lambs and making sure the get slices of hay. We also have jobs to do because most of us live on dairy farms, such as feeding the calfs in spring and make sure the cows get checked so they don’t get sick.

    • Dear Gemma and Alice,
      We also have to check on our sheep, at the moment we keep checking them to see if they are going to have their lambs, at other times of the year we have to check them for sickness. You have to count them so they don’t get lost in the snow, and count them in the summer because sometimes people steal lambs. Once we had sheep rustlers and 20 sheep went missing, do you ever get livestock rustled?
      From Edward

  18. Dear Edward
    We heard you say that you have to do a lot of jobs before and after school. We think you must be very busy!

    We come from a farming community too, but ours is a dairy farm area. In our spring, there are lots of calves born.

    Some of us in B4 come from farms. Chelsea helps her mum to feed the calves. Ryan’s dad works on the tractor to feed the cows. Jamie helps to milk cows. Jaxson helps to look after the chickens and feed the calves. Ben sits on the tool box in the tractor and makes sure the hay isn’t getting tangled, and he helps with the tagging.

    We have some questions for you, Edward.
    Caleb wonders if you get paid to do the jobs on the farm?
    Samuel wonders how old you are?

    bye for now
    Mrs Mckenzie and B4

    • Hi B4,
      Normally I get paid every year £100, and I keep it in my safe, I am saving up for a bow and arrow and some of it goes into the bank for savings.
      I am 7 years old, but I will be eight in July.
      From Edward

  19. Dear Edward
    On my farm I have a pet lamb it’s name is Emma. It drinks out of a bottle,but some of the times it sucks my finger it’s yuk because i get slobber over my hands. My lamb has to live in a cage sometimes it comes inside when it’s not allowed it’s not allowed because it jumps on the couch. Nana does not like me taking my lamb out because it does lamb pooh over our farm! I don’t like going on the farm because i don’t like wearing gumboots. Do you like going on the farm?

    • Dear Emma,
      I love going on the farm, we call gumboots ‘wellies’ and I love my wellies. I like it when you get the slobber on you from the lambs! We’ve got 5 pet lambs now and they are messy! Sometimes the lambs will come into the house if they are poorly.
      From Edward

  20. Dear Edward
    I live on a farm too, but I live on a dairy farm in New Zealand.
    I have a pet sheep and it is a Southdown. In spring time I help tag the calves ears, feed them, teet spray the new ones and catch the new ones.

    From Liv

    • Dear Liv,
      I have never heard of a Southdown, I will have to look it up! At the moment I haven’t got a name for my pet lambs, but one of them is going to get called Picklemix, because I always call one of them that!

  21. Alyssa, Room 1, Auroa School, Taranaki, New Zealand. We are on a dairy farm in south Taranaki.
    My Mum and Dad milk over 400 mixed cows. I love your video about your farm. What do you like most about being a sheep farmer? Alyssa. P.S your accent sounds funny.

    • Dear Alyssa,
      I like looking after sheep and doing all the jobs with my dad. I prefer working with my dad because I get to drive stuff, but my mum always makes me wear a seatbelt and be safe. When I’m with my dad I drive the quad bike.
      My accent sounds like everyone else’s round here!
      From Edward

  22. Hi Edward I loved your film. When will you finish lambing ? and when you have finished, how many lambs will you have ?


  23. Hi Edward
    Great video
    I looked out for sheep and lambs on my holiday but I only saw cows and goats. But lamb was on the menu so they must have been some somewhere ?

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