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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lambing Is Finished! Hallelujah!

So lambing has been going on, in fits and a starts here at the farm since March 8th, when Blackberry Winter got things rolling, with Hope hot on her heels. Then things stalled out and the next lambs didn't make their appearance until March 24. After that things got hectic with five ewes lambing with a week. I thought Luna would be the last to go on April 12th. She went a few days early and lambed on April 10th. That left Duckie, whose lambing time was a mystery. I really thought she would go early on. But no, she just kept getting larger, and larger and more miserable looking. Every night I was sure she was acting fishy, but no, she was just uncomfortable. I was beginning to think she was just going to never lamb. Then last night when I got home from work, she was hanging out by herself and her sides were caved in. Ah ha I thought, finally! Of course it wasn't as easy as that. First she had to look secretive and sly, then she had to nest and dig around for an hour or two. Finally at around 10:00 she seemed to be going into labor, with water bags appearing. I finally went in to the house, as my relentless spying seemed to be making her uneasy. Around about 11:00 she started hollering and carrying on, and I ended up going out to see if things were going as normal. They were, and soon this little guy (yes--another ram!) was on the ground. This is Duckie's first lambing, but she was an instant mom. I've never seen a lamb quite this vigorous---it seemed he literally hit the ground running. I got them settled in a lambing jug, and watched awhile. Duckie was starting to pass the afterbirth, so I went on back to bed.

At around 2:00 a.m. I decided to take one last trip out to the barn and make sure all was well. There was Duckie, working on yet another lamb! This time a little solid ewe lamb. It was a bit weird because she passed an afterbirth, then had the second lamb--almost three hours later! The lamb was pretty slow acting, and I think it might have been because it took so long to deliver her. She just couldn't get the idea of where to nurse. I was starting to despair, when finally she got it. After that, I went back to bed, again.... So lambing is finally done here, and I'm so thrilled. It's been a little exhausting!
I am thrilled all to pieces to get this little smirslet boy. (Only thing better would have been if he was a she!) His mother is a plain black ewe, out of a plain black ewe and an Ag grey flecket. I had hoped she possessed some spotting genetics, as it frequently crops up in this line. I guess the girls just thought they would save all the spots for the last. These twins are out of Locksfield Griffen & Fairlight Duckie.

Duckie seems to have taken to motherhood, well, like a Duck to water. I was sure she was going to have twins because she was so large, but then after the first lamb was born, all signs pointed to him being the only one. I'm really happy she twinned.

So here are the statistics (to the best of my fading and exhausted mind):
16 lambs born--7 ram lambs & 9 ewe lambs
2 Ag grey rams
1 musket ewe
1 Moorit ewe
2 Moorit rams
1 Ag grey ewe
3 black ewes
1 black ewe with brown pheo type markings
1 black smirslet ram
1 black krunet ram
1 moorit yuglet ram
2 white crossbred ewes
It's a nice looking bunch this year, and I'm quite pleased. Many of them will be available to new homes.
That's it for now.


Lauren said...

Congratulations on a job well done! (And give the girls pats on their backs as well.)

Your lambs are lovely.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Congratulations on making it through a healthy, successful lambing. And may you find good homes for all you want to sell!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your lambing season!

Nancy K. said...

What a successful lambing season! Way to go. I envy you being done with lambing ~ it's just getting started in the Bluff Country....

Kathy said...

It seems everyone is getting the dark lambs with the "white caps" this year! :)

I'll bet you're glad to be done - and everyone looks great! I just have two more to go...sometime...anytime is ok with me...OK, girls....anytime...