What’s best about working at Daylesford?
Ask any of our team and you’ll receive a variety of reasons – though there is always a common thread, they are all genuinely passionate and inspiring about their love of food.
For me it’s the farm, to be able to see where our food is grown and by who is an experience everyone should enjoy. And at this time of the year, it’s the opportunity to be hands-on, helping with lambing.
With 1250 breeding ewes at Daylesford, each with either one, two, three or even four lambs waiting to be born, you don’t need much of an imagination to see how busy it can become for our shepherd, Allun and his small team. This year has been unseasonably cold – bitterly cold – which puts extra stress on our ‘maternity unit’ as lambs need to stay in the warmth for longer to build strength before being turned out to our organic green pastures.
At Daylesford we lamb in a very big barn. All ewes are sheared, scanned and placed in small groups according to how many lambs they are expecting. They give birth in these small groups and then move to individual ‘maternity pens’ (via the maternity truck) to bond with their off spring. This is the most crucial time. It is essential that within half an hour, lambs get on their feet and receive their first drink from mum, this milk is filled with Colostrum, a highly concentrated, natural ‘energy drink’ containing carbohydrates, protein and antibodies – shepherds call it go-go juice.
For us each and every lamb is precious. Ewes raise lambs best and if Mother Nature needs a little human help to bond lambs with mothers, then so be it. Of course we have orphans – some ewes can’t cope with three lambs – and we foster as many as possible, but every year we have our little characters and this year is no exception. Meet Eric (black and white Kerry Hill) and 118 (every ewe and lamb is given a number). Eric prefers the company of humans and follows the night shepherd around like a little dog, and 118, despite his tiny size, can drink any lamb under the table and still come back for more. New life on the farm is always a joy to witness and lambing is a very rewarding time for all involved.
Come and see this year’s lambs at our Summer Festival, Saturday 18th May, and be sure to ask for Eric and 118.