A Cumbrian farming family are “shocked” by early new additions to their flock.

The Armer family on Scar Sykes Farm were “shocked to say the least” at the arrival of two baby blue faced leisters; a tup and a gimmer a month earlier than expected. Lambing season usually occurs from mid-March until May, depending on the tupping times and is an intense period for farmers across the UK.

The family have been farming in Cumbria for 25 years and this has been their earliest start to the lambing season yet. Kelly Armer said “walkers left the gates open and the tups got in with the ewes too early, thankfully only one was tupped but with the snow coming up, it is not ideal for the young lambs.

“Due dates for the rest of the lambs are predicted around the end of March with the majority being born in April, weather permitting” Kelly said.

In 2022, there were over 17 million lambs born in the UK (GOV.UK) and Scar Sykes farm were responsible for 950 of them and Kelly predicts there will be “around 850 lambs by the end of May based on downsized number of ewes after we have started to focus more on pedigree Belted Galloways to comply with Natural England’s requests”

In previous years, the farm have encouraged their children to get in on the action. Their youngest daughter Katie (11) has recently purchased her first ewes, Suffolk Crosses who are both expecting twins.

Also, James (14) has interests in taking over the family farm in the future, making him the third generation to farm there.