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.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Lamb Pictures, But Not New Lambs...

Well, things seem to be somewhat stalled out here and most of the other ewes will lamb after shearing next Saturday. This despite of some seriously sick mind games the ewes have been playing on me. (Have you ever noticed how weird sheep can act when you are watching them closely??) It doesn't surprise me that Hope was one of the first to lamb since that breed tends to cycle earlier, but I must say, I don't know what the deal with Blackberry was!

The two sets of twins have discovered each other and now make up their own little pack. Hope seems to be stuck with four little lambs, since the boys always come over to the girls house to play! ;-) The boys don't hang around their mum much at all, which is surprising. Blackberry herself loves them, but isn't as over protective of them as normal. I think it's because she twinned and they are....boys.... Her other two lambings were single girls, and its always such a shock it seems when there are TWINS after they've singled several times.

The little half Shetland lambs can seldom keep still. They run and twirl and leap, and sometimes get so carried away they fall down. The boys, even being the little rams they are can barely hold their own. I feel a bit sorry for Hope. She is handling it very well, but she is a placid, peaceful soul and these little gals are...not.

It's been a week of baby proofing fences, trimming toes and giving shots. I've still got quite a few sheep to work through, but I think the fences are in good shape now. I even had to fence in a small pond in the upper pasture. Normally its dry and has never had allot of water in it at lambing season. This year its brimming full and could easily trap a little lamb in the mud and muck.

This Saturday is shearing, so lots of prep for that. Trying to come up with a skirting table, and also attempting to get the house cleaned up shiny. If all works out looks like I'll be having lots of help this year. Here is praying for a sunny warmish day!

So here are new pictures of the lambs with comments on fleece color and type.

Above are two pictures of Liberty and Free. I took them for comparison purposes so they aren't that great visually. Liberty in the front on the top picture and on the left in the bottom, has what I would call a more open Shetland type fleece. Whereas Free has a tight curled heavier lanolin type Merino fleece. This is the type of fleece that predominates in the Dorset and Merino cross. Their mother is a 1/2 Dorset/1/2 Merino and the sire is an intermediate Shetland. Regardless, I think both fleeces will be lovely, --tending to keep the superfine, crimpy fleece of the merino while combining it with the softness and length of the Shetland. As an aside to this, both of these lambs tails were banded, since they will be slightly longer than the Shetlands and very woolly.

Free and her mom Hope

Liberty, finally still for a moment

First time out of the jug--come along girls!
(Please don't judge me on the cobbled up chicken fence on the left--it used to be a nice fence, until the sheep wrecked havoc on it---really! ;-)

On to the boys, who don't have names yet. These are moorit Shetland ram lambs from Blackberry Winter and Locksfield Griffin. Blackberry seems to be whisper words of encouragement on their first jaunt out of the jug.

These little fellers are very hard to get photoed! I'm not sure what they thought they were up to here, but they sure doing a good job of pretending to eat hay! Note the boy on the left is allot darker than his twin on the right. Both are brown based, and I've not discovered sugar lips or other signs of Ag greying. Is the difference in them just shades of moorit or what? I've never had one quite so dark.
Another view, you can see the darkness against the more red toned lamb in the back.
Here is the lighter colored twin. So cute!

That's all for now! Any thoughts and comments on fleece type and also the color differences will be appreciated.

Have a great week!


Corinne R. said...

I am suffering from a serious case of lamb envy!

Allena said...

I am not sure (You know I don't know much about this) but I'm thinking that dark twin might very well be one of those dark brown modified colors people are talking about.

Don't band him! If he turns out to be a modified dark brown, you should be able to sell him for a great price, especially if everything else turns out good.

How are his legs? I just know that a lot of people on the forums are hot for those dark browns and so you may have one.

There is some idea that the modified could be what is called Shetland Black, which I believer Griffin is...

THe modifieds are even more sketchy than the other genetics, if you can even imagine.

Probably I'm just telling you something you already know, but that's what I think.

I hope I get to come and see them on Sat.

EvaLux said...

Hello, I don't know a lot about sheep, but I spend some time on Shetland (and Fair Isle) last year and I'm pretty sure that the lighter boy would be a moorit (I have 4 pounds of moorit roving and it is a medium brown color) and the darker one would be a Shetland Black, which is not really a black, but more a dark brown (think dark chocolate) and oh so pretty :)
I would call one of those boys Cocoa hehehe...
Cheers Eva

Ben_Benjamin said...

Hi, get to know your blog from the pawfect lady Tosca. Nice blog & nice farm, me & the hooman always wanted to have a farm just like you...those lamb are beautiful & cute.

Kathy said...

What great photos, Tammy. Thanks for sharing. I have to wait until next month to have lambs here, so it's nice to see everyone else's. Can't wait to see more pictures of them as they grow.

Hugs from SW of ya....

Nancy K. said...

From the photos, I'd lean toward the darker lamb being the moorit and the lighter one may be fawn. I also like to cross the tight/crmpy fleeced sheep with a more open-coated one to get a longer stapled but soft/crimpy fleece. Adorable babies!