Lambing season in the north of Iceland
May 14, 2015 6:55 AM   Subscribe

For the next 24 hours you can watch live as lambs are born on a farm in Iceland courtesy of Icelandic state broadcaster RÚV. This is their experiment in slow television. The farm, Syðri-Hofdalir, is in the north of Iceland.
posted by Kattullus (28 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Incidentally, these sheep, like practically every sheep in Iceland, are free-range in summer. These lambs you see running away with their mothers are off to wander around for the summer.
posted by Kattullus at 7:01 AM on May 14, 2015

, ---@>
posted by Fizz at 7:05 AM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]

Slow television is the future and I'm on board.
posted by dogwalker at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Error loading player:
No playable sources found

Apparently, the elambs are away.

However, I seem to be able to watch soccer players, so....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:10 AM on May 14, 2015

My cat loved this so much she planted herself on the keyboard to get a good view, and apparently stood on the key that dims the screen. Took me awhile to figure out why the screen was black.

I like this new slow television trend. Especially since tv is increasingly becoming the thing that is happening in the background while I play games on my tablet and type on my laptop (usually all at the same time).
posted by jenjenc at 7:16 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I see the lambs! So many lambs!

I wish I was in Iceland right this very second. My favorite place to visit on earth.
posted by Windigo at 7:17 AM on May 14, 2015

All I can say is that I really want some vindaloo right now. Not kidding.
posted by phlyingpenguin at 7:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Any of you having trouble seeing this, check the video player here.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:26 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also, you can ask the farmers questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #beintfráburði. Bear in mind countryfolk English comprehension can be hit and miss, but most Icelanders overall understand English.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:27 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Still no lambs. Perhaps Rhode Island is too small for an influx of esheep.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:42 AM on May 14, 2015

I will never forget watching a particular ewe labor in the Miracle of Birth pavilion at the Minnesota State Fair (only one of the many cracktastically fabulous reasons to visit that wonderful place) Many of the other ewes were moving around and interacting with the visitors, but this one just huffed silently in the corner of the pen, biting the bar of the enclosure to make it through the contractions.

"Don't mind me," she seemed to be saying. "I'll just be over here, on my own, slowly pushing a writhing monster out of my pain-wracked body while you flit around taking pictures."

Most Midwestern sheep mom EVER.
posted by St. Hubbins at 8:08 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm glad those two lambs made it out. I'll admit, not knowing much about lambing, it seemed quite scary when they had to pull the lambs out by hand.
posted by Kattullus at 8:48 AM on May 14, 2015

Didn't the one lamb die? I was confused... it looked like they pulled out two living ones after a non-living one, but triplets would be weird.

The guy in the sweater is so, so great. The female vet with the angular haircut, too. I love these people.

This is the greatest.
posted by St. Hubbins at 8:50 AM on May 14, 2015

No, both lambs lived.
posted by Kattullus at 9:02 AM on May 14, 2015

Aaaaaugh, this is so great but I have to worrrrrrrk. (And not at a computer, either.)

It seems fundamentally unjust that I am not allowed just to scrap my work to sit quietly and watch the Icelandic sheep farmers go about their sheep business, because it's mesmerizing.
posted by theatro at 9:10 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Incidentally, Icelandic vegans and vegetarians are trolling the shit out of the #beintfráburði hashtag. Here's one: "I will be quickly killed so you'll get to enjoy how I taste!"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:24 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Why is one ear split and the other trimmed? I couldn't understand what the deer-leech was saying.
posted by Thing at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2015

They're marking the sheep. All farms in Iceland have specific ear markings associated with them, some of which may go back all the way to the settlement of Iceland in the 9th and 10th Centuries CE.
posted by Kattullus at 10:28 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I half-wondered if it was something like that, as I have heard of such a thing before. Thank you.
posted by Thing at 10:33 AM on May 14, 2015

OH MY GOD the wagging lambie tails while they're getting fed!!!!!!
posted by St. Hubbins at 11:27 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

These are all lambs from three-lamb births. Because if sheep rear more than two lambs at a time they're at a risk of various udder maladies.

Also, it was hilarious how they all concentrated on one milk station and ignored the other ones, even as the humans tried to manually move them to the other ones.
posted by Kattullus at 11:35 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The reporter just announced that there might be a few minute interruption due to them being interviewed on the main news program of RÚV on another channel. So if there are problems with the stream, it should be fixed soon.
posted by Kattullus at 12:00 PM on May 14, 2015

I was wrong, one of the lambs did die, the reporter said so in the news broadcast :-(
posted by Kattullus at 12:16 PM on May 14, 2015

I just had the same error GenjiandProust had. I had to reload the page a couple of times, but it worked in the end.

Oh lord and the farmer just pulled a lamb out as the sheep bolted away! But everything's fine and the mother is licking the newborn.
posted by Kattullus at 1:26 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

*Immensely tempted to call Katullus out but will wait to kick his shins instead*
posted by infini at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

I get "404 Lambs Not Found," sadly.

Many years ago I visited that part of Iceland, though not while the lambs were being born. It is a beautiful part of the country and the people were really nice even though I was doing horrible things to their language.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:41 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

There are only about three hours left of the broadcast. Here's a three minute video with a number of births (including the lamb that was sadly stillborn).
posted by Kattullus at 2:18 AM on May 15, 2015

The broadcast ended two hours and a half ahead of schedule because the nearest transmitter short circuited.
posted by Kattullus at 4:29 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

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