We finally sampled our first lambs this month - 9 ram lambs (uncastrated) were sent via Reg Cornthwaite of Grove Farm to be slaughtered and butchered and came back after a week ready for the pan in the form of 18 half-lamb packs. Lovely and lean because of the time of year and our laisser-faire attitude to supplementary feeding (only if the grass is covered with snow or very clearly limited), I have tried both the chops and the kidneys and Becca and I have the rest of one half lamb tucked away in the freezer.

Surprising size too - about 12 kilos of meat, plus the offal, which considering the breed ("primitive" rather than a commercial cross-breed) and lack of supplementary feeding, is not a bad size, yielding shoulder and leg joints of 2kg+ each.

Now we await our flock of 22 ewes to start to deliver their next brood - for 6 of them, probably early March as they joined us only recently and came already in-lamb (we think) whilst the rest were serviced by Wallace (our resident Shetland ram) early November, which points to an early April lambing. Fingers crossed that this year's crop is as abundant and easy-lambing as last year's.....