This week we hear from Steve our Agricultural Project Leader:
Lambing and Calving season 2022 is now in full swing at Caring for Life! The agricultural project starts to gather pace from February, when our heifers (young cows) start calving, followed by the lambs in March and April.
With the arrival of the first calves in February, it is a pleasant reminder that spring is just around the corner, even though the weather up here at that time is more often than not, quite the opposite.
We on the project and indeed many beneficiaries and staff members from other projects and departments have good fun naming our heifer calves. Every year the letter changes in alphabetical order. This year it’s the letter ‘W’.
On CFLs 35 anniversary this year, we had a heifer born and we named it Wendy, after Wendy Margaret who used to work at CFL in the early days and whom the lady's house is named after.
Other names chosen so far have been Wizz, Wander and Wren to name a few. It is lovely to follow these heifers and watch them grow and mature and to see them have their own calves in a few years' time. Many of the guys on the project have chosen their own calf and have followed it over the years.
Longhorn cows need very little to no assistance when calving, which is a great attribute of the breed. If they can calve themselves, it means less stress on them and on us too.
Lambing started last week. Lambing is 95% completed within 3 weeks, unlike with cows which takes over 3 months to complete. This is because sheep are seasonal breeders, lambing in spring, rather than cows being able to calve all year round.
This means that from mid-March to early April is our busiest time of the year. The lambing shed is completely full at the moment of expectant ewes and ewes with lambs. There is barely a square meter of the shed that doesn’t have sheep in it.
Although very busy, it is also very exciting. Beneficiaries have a chance to get their hands slimy, helping assist in bringing a lamb into the world, bottle feeding orphan lambs, turning lambs out into the spring sunshine and watching them frolic around or just being able to hold or even see a real-life lamb for the first time.
It’s a joy to see faces light up as the burdens of life lift for a while.
Please pray that those in our care will be really blessed this Springtime and pray that as they witness new life, they will begin to see something of God’s love.