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.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

BIG SURPRISE

Everytime I make a statement about the sheep they prove me wrong. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that the Merino/Dorsets always lamb before the Shetlands. Well, obviously Rain thought this needed to change!

When I got home from work yesterday (we get off early on Friday's now), I parked in front of the house, and unloaded groceries from my truck. Then I pulled it around to the garage. As I was moseying to the back yard gate, I noticed that Rain was still in the shetland barn (she had been there when I left, but it had been raining so I didn't think much about it). Hmmm... the entire flock of chickens was gathered next to her in the adjoining stall. Then I saw it, tiny black legs standing next to Rain! She had probably finished up only 15-20 minutes before I got there, as the little ram was still wet. Everything looked great, so I left her to it, while I went inside and put away groceries and changed clothes. Then I couldn't stand it any longer and had to go out and check them out! :-) I soon found that Rain had had a little moorit (maybe musket) ewe lamb and a black (Ag grey) ram lamb. They are so incrediably sweet when they are first born. Very trusting. The little ewe lamb has a splash of white on the very top of her head and a tiny white spot on her face. The ram lamb has the flashy (ag) flecket markings that Rain's babies often have. He looks a bit like a little panda bear as his head is mostly white (he is not a yuglet however).

After awhile, I bedded the stall with fresh straw, fixed Rain a bucket of water with a dab of molasses in it, and then got them settled in the stall. I dipped the babies navels in iodine, gave them each two ccs orally of nutri-drench and checked Rain's udder to make sure she was producing milk etc. and then got Rain some hay. I usually don't grain the new moms for the first day, but always make sure they have good hay and fresh water. Rain passed her after birth a short time later. I left the new family alone most of the time, only to interupt to check and see if they were nursing and to take some pictures!

The new little family seems to be doing great. Rain is hyper alert to everything, and would like to rip some dog heads off. I'll keep them penned up for a few days--at first in the jug and then in a larger pen. After that I'll introduce them to the rest of the flock. The first babies always cause the biggest commotion it seems. Rain however is a hothead, so I don't think anyone will mess with her babies!

I can't post pictures here at home, (I know, I know!) so I'm going to try and link you to my website lamb page. The pictures are small but can be clicked on to see a bigger view. I will have lots more to post on the blog Monday!! Okay, I can't get the links to work either, so if you want to see the pictures, you can go to Fairlightfarm.com and click on the Spring lambs 2007 link!

I've had a terrible time posting this and trying to put up pictures on the website. I have dial up and its in a particualary cranky mood today, so will quit before I lose everything...again.

1 comment:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Hurray and congratulations! Now I'm off to the website to have a look....