Home - seasons - spring in the farmyard KS2


Early spring is the traditional time for lambing when most lambs will be born. Some Cornish farmers lamb part of their flocks before this, during the winter months, to have animals ready to sell by Easter when there is a good demand for lamb.

Inside the lambing shed these ewes are waiting to give birth. Lambing indoors means the new-born lambs will be protected if the weather is still cold and wet. Most ewes will give birth quite quickly on their own. Occasionally the farmer has to help. A gentle pull on the front feet eases the lamb out.
This lamb has been delivered safe and well. Some ewes will give birth to twins or even triplets.
By vigorously licking the lamb the ewe encourages it to get up. This also helps to build a bond between mother and baby.
The ewe and her new born lamb are put in a pen on their own while they get to know each other. The lamb quickly finds the udder and has its first drink of milk. Before the ewe and her new lamb are turned out in the field with the flock, matching numbers are sprayed on them. This will help the farmer reunite stray lambs with their mothers.

Sheep shearing

In late spring sheep need shearing. Sheep grow wool continuously and if their fleece is not removed before the warmer weather of summer, they can become very uncomfortable and stressed.

Depending on the breed of sheep, a fleece will weigh 3-5kgs; that's enough wool to make a man's suit or 100 miles of fine yarn.

Dairy farming

Dairy farming is the most important sector of agriculture in Cornwall and the county is famous for the clotted cream, cheese and ice cream it produces.

In recent years the number of dairy farmers in Cornwall has declined but the size of the remaining herds has increased. There are now about 700 dairy farms in Cornwall, milking 74,000 cows, nearly 6% of the dairy cows in England.

Cornwall's warm wet climate means grass grows virtually all the year round making it ideal for livestock, particularly dairy farming.

Morning milking
The clusters
on the udder
Cows in cubicles

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