The end of an exhausting lambing season is in sight and it is time to muck out the kitchen at the farm on the M62

With lambing time entering the final, exhausted stages, I’ve had brief periods of time to try and square the house up.

It is an exhausting time on the farm
It is an exhausting time on the farm

The countless births, and sometimes deaths, feeding, bedding down, mucking out and so on means housework is pretty low on the priority list.

The kitchen is a jumbled mess of boots, dirty towels and all manner of lambing paraphernalia. Tubs of colostrum powder and feeding bottles line the worktops. A large bag of lamb milk replacer sits in the corner of the kitchen, along with discarded overalls, dog whistles and ear tags.

The old shippon next door has a sink and a worktop and endless cupboards and shelves, yet my kitchen is always invaded at this time of the year!

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    The thought of any ‘non farmer’ person visiting us during lambing time fills me with dread. Despite my futile attempts at keeping the kitchen clean, I expect it should have a bio hazard warning on the door. We’ve managed to be lamb free in the house this year thanks to the good weather, but it still doesn’t stop the delightful odours that accompany lambing time from seeping into the house.

    It never ceases to amaze me that my husband can bring half a bale of straw in every time he walks through the door. His boots come off amidst a fresh shower of straw, his overalls also covering the floor with more.

    The chap who fixes our washing machine is a regular visitor. Despite him reminding Paul that machines aren’t that keen on copious quantities of straw, baler band and pen knives, they always seem to be the cause of all the bangs and clatters that fill the room when he’s washing something.

    Surfaces are liberally covered in milk powder, annoyingly so considering how much a bag of milk replacer costs and the bar of soap next to the sink should come with a health warning.

    The short n’ long dogs of course love this time of year. So much to feast on and everyone is so busy they don’t have time to notice what you’re up to. We discovered this much to our cost and Paul’s rage.

    After a draining morning out in the lambing fields we trudged back to the house. The scene that greeted us was an eye opener. The full bag of lamb milk replacer was open and laying on its side on the kitchen floor with most of the contents spread far and wide. Poking out of the bag was a tail.

    The usual bellowing of : “What the.....” came from behind me and the rest of the body belonging to the tail emerged from the bag at speed.

    Wilma, our youngest teckel, was now white and even in her desperate attempt to flee from Paul’s thundering bellows, managed to lick one last bit of powder from the floor.

    Her mother, Boo, was also sporting the powdered look but had the sense to hide. Paul was calmly ushered through the kitchen where he slumped into his chair, eyes bulging with rage.

    Stifled giggles from the kitchen didn’t help the situation but as is the case at lambing time, a quick nap eased his anger and both Boo and Wilma lived to see another day!