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, August 17, 2008

Life As A Weaner

Angus says "I want my Mommy!"
"Or Cookies".....

Running the fence line

Omen & Orion console themselves at the Hay Bar

It hasn't been a very quiet weekend. Not peaceful at all. This weekend was Weaning Time. Usually I pretty much let the girls self wean their babies, but this year there are a couple ram lambs and some ewe lambs that will be leaving for their new home shortly. (I hope!) With the cooler weather the little ramlings have become very 'ramly' in their attention of the girls. While Shetlands are seasonal breeders, there is an occasional exception and I sure don't want any surprise January lambs. I sorted off two groups from the main flock. One has two rams (Orion & Omen), two wethers and an ewe lamb. The ewe lamb will only be in there a few weeks, and is my attempt to separate her from her mum, so she will be more people friendly. We have a ways to go.

The second group is five ewes that have been awaiting pickup by their new owners for several weeks now. I decided to separate them as one ewe in particular also needs some one on one work. It will also help them that they have formed a new flock before they leave here. At first the wild one made the rest of the tiny new flock spooky, but now the other girls have changed their allegiance to lovely sweet little Maythorn (who would sit in my pocket if she could), so that is already a big improvement. Of the five in this group, three are adult ewes and two are ewe lambs. The ewe lambs are inconsolable and unfortunately located much closer to the house than the other weaner group.

It is a worrisome, as well as terribly noisy time on the farm. When the lambs are first weaned--for about the first two and half days, they tend to do stupid things in trying to get back to their moms. Things like sticking their heads through tiny gaps in hopes they can push their bodies through. This can end badly with a lamb hung up. I try to keep an eye on things, but still I worry. After about three days, things calm down and they accept their new status in life.

Hopefully a much quieter status......

Part of the new five ewe flock.
(Both ewe lambs have attached themselves at the hip to sweet Maythorn)


Vicki Lane said...

Which one is Maythorn?

Tammy said...

Hi Vicki,
Maythorn is the little brown(moorit) one walking towards the camera, with her newly attached grey ewe lamb charge. I will try and get pictures to you of both Rosemary and Maythorn. :-)

Pat in TN said...

Although we never had sheep, we have experienced such traumatic times with goats and Angus cattle. It definitely rattles ones nerves!

Nancy K. said...

Poor Babies!

Why did you put the little ewe lamb in with the boys instead of in with the group of 5 girls? I would think that those ramlings are going to pester her unmercifully. It sounds like you've got a couple of friendly ewes in with the girls, perhaps they would help teach the little one to be more trusting.

Just a thought. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about rams, it is the same way with bucks ( goat boys that haven't been neutered )! We used to raise Shetlands.

Tammy said...

I do have a headache, Pat. :-) It does tend to rattle my nerves too. I always wonder what the neighbors are thinking as well... Nancy, the reason I put the little girl in with the rams/wethers is because the other group of five ewes will be leaving at the end of this week. I'm trying to work on one of the older girls in that group as well, as she is a flighty soul, and I hoped that having their own little flock pre-formed will help them adjust to their new home quicker. Once these girls go to their new home, I'll have more time to work with the other weaner bunch. I hope. :-)(oh, and it's the little girl who is bashing the two ramlings around! She is a little saucy one!)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Sounds like you've made some sales; congratulations! Still have two extra fiber boys; sigh. But Bevin and Rechel leave on Sunday (and Inky arrives). Net loss: one. Anything is better than nothing; at least you have LOTS of grass. I'm picking up a couple tons of third-cutting orchard grass this week for the sheep for $185/ton, and that's considered reasonable for that kind of hay! Found a rare, local producer (most don't irrigate grass hay around here); most second- and third-cutting sold around here is from Eastern or Southern Oregon.

kristi said...

Hi Tammy!
thank you so much for leaving a message! I was very excited! I so sympathize with the loudness of the babies....there is "tramua" over at my place too. My neighbor actually came over the other night about midnight too see if the babies were okay...of course I was up watching the Olympics!I reassurred him that they were just being dramatic:)