Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Figuratively speaking that is...... I'm a bit tired of winter weather and cold, cold, cold, so I thought I would step back to last Spring and re-enjoy some of the lambs. A good reminder that soon days will be warm, grass will be green and little lambs will once more be running in their lamb races.
Heres little Lucy, a crossbred half shetland (1/4 Merino and 1/4 Dorset). She was one of triplets and was such a cutie. As she grew her wool was really looking fantastic. She went to her new home later in the summer with 4 other of the sheep to provide wool for their new owners spinning pleasure!
Here is little Hope-ster. Most likely she is the last lamb of my favorite and first ewe, Gracie, a Dorset. Gracie loves her babies with an overwhelming passion, but I nearly lost her this past year during lambing. What a horrible ordeal. I couldn't get the baby turned, neither could a neighbor who raised sheep for several years. Finally after calling many vets I got someone who would work her in. (It was late Saturday afternoon and most were closed). After a hair-raising drive to a neighboring town, with my Dad driving and me sitting in the back of the van with Gracie, the vet was able after a bit of work to get the baby out. I was astonished when the lamb hit the ground and gave a little gasp. I was sure the lamb was dead and suspected that I would lose Gracie too. I grabbed the little lamb at the vet's word and began swinging it about and then rubbing and drying it with a towel. The minute I laid that little lamb in front of Gracie's nose and it wiggle and made a tiny noise she came alive. From flat out on her side, to up on her breast, and then all the way up to standing, licking and talking to her beloved baby. Gracie had a huge drive to live and while she was sore and swollen for days she was very content with her new little girl. It didn't take long until she was ready to proudly show off her newest to the rest of the flock (which are mostly her daughters and granddaughters). Hope's name certainly seemed logical---to have a live lamb after all that time and pulling was beyond any hope. Hope was a very large single ewe lamb, and she was turned upside down--very odd presentation and difficult presentation. She did initially have some eye problems, I think from being grasped by the eye sockets to get her out. So even though her and mom were under constant care for a week or so, she quickly outgrew the other lambs. She is a sweetheart, and is still deeply attached to her mom, Gracie. She is 1/2 Merino, so I hope to eventually use her in my crossbred program. If you can see in the photo, her front foot has a very light brown spot on it. I have had some spots show up in these white dorsets and merinos and it will be interesting to see what is produced when crossed with the shetlands.
Here is beautiful little Birdie. Initially I called her Maybelline because she had white 'eyebrows', but in the long run it didn't seem to fit, so Birdie she is. She was very friendly as a lamb, but now is shy and reserved. I think in time she will become friendly again. She was suppose to be on the saleslist, but I really like her, and so now I have another black Rouen daughter! Her fleece seems to be much improved from her sister's though.
Lastly is lovely Luna. What a wonderful little surprise this girl was out of her grey flecket mom, Willow. I was expecting black or grey and got musket instead. Hopefully she will carry since her sire was a sokket/smirslet. This little girl has been so pretty through all her color changes. She is very shy, but at least isn't as wild as she was a lamb. She will stand back and watch the others gather around, but the whole time she will be waving a front foot around like 'don't forget me'! Birdie and Luna are registered Shetland sheep.
Hope you've enjoyed this re-visit to Spring and that its helped brighten a cold winter day in your world! :-)