Lambing is the main event this spring for our farm manager.
Forget digital diaries and high-tech planners. When you are the farming manager of the National Museum of Rural Life just one event looms large each spring. Lambing. Ritchie Young will be in charge of an anticipated 160 lambs due to be born to 110 ewes over the coming weeks. And the star attractions will arrive in their own good time no matter what the weather is doing – or who is watching.
“The biggest event in spring on our farm is always lambing,” said Ritchie.
“Everything else that goes on just has to fit in around it. If there is a ewe or a cow needing assistance to give birth it happens in full view as you don’t have time to get people out of the way.”
While lambing dominates the farming diary in the spring, the miracle of life can’t be scheduled for visiting times only, warns Ritchie.
“We can’t guarantee it will happen when people visit,” he says. “Quite often ewes will give birth first thing in the morning or once things are quieter at night.”
Brought up on a farm near Stewarton, Ayrshire, Ritchie has lived and breathed farming all his life. As a farm manager in charge of Aberdeen Angus cattle, Tamworth pigs, Ayrshire cows, black-faced sheep and Mairi, a 16-year-old Clydesdale horse, he needs to stay emotionally detached.
“A farm manager can’t be sentimental about livestock in his or her care,” he says. “You have to show them compassion, but there are hundreds more being born each year that need your care and attention.”
You can visit the 1950s working farm at National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride throughout the year. Discover more about the spring happenings for yourself or attend one of our seasonal events. Find the National Museum of Rural Life at Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, East Kilbride, G76 9HR Tel: 0300 123 6789.
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