Spring has officially arrived here at Fairlight Farm, even though the calendar says otherwise. Fairlight Eve (name subject to change) arrived at 9:30 p.m. last night. She is out of Three Ring Just Jack & Fairlight Lark. She is a beautiful little solid moorit with a little white butterfly marking on her forehead.
Lark delivered her quickly and with no visible problems (I was in the house trying to give her time without me staring at her). Lark secluded herself for a day and half before going into labor. This is typical in this family line, but I was still a little concerned. Since shearing is later this year, all the girls are woolly, so that added to the confusion. Many ewes (especially first timers) have this little dance they do, after their lambs arrive. They won't let the lambs anywhere near the udder, instead spinning around so that their head is always touching the lambs. It can get comical when you have an especially aggressive little one. This usually resolves itself in less than an hour, and then it's all magically figured out. Last night Lark was pretty squirrelly about letting the little one nurse, and with all that wool it was getting a bit dicey. Finally I plopped Lark on her behind, and guided the lamb to the udder while I snipped away the obstructing wool. Then I went to the house and lay down for awhile. I gave them an hour then trudged back out to the barn. Lark was still acting silly, and I was just about to intervene and halter her, when the lamb had a sudden energy burst and was able to latch on. At that point Lark calmed down and it was time for me to head off to bed.
Obviously I'm still in denial about the fact that it's lambing season, since last night, with only hours to spare, I got my lambing kit together. I keep a bucket stuffed with those things I'll need in the barn during lambing--towels, paper towels, nutri-drench, syringes, iodine, latex gloves and the ever present animal crackers. I also make up 'baby kits' in the garage--three to four flakes of straw and one flake of nice hay tied together with baling string. This makes it easier when the lambs invariably arrive in the middle of the night and I'm staggering around half asleep.
So...one down and three scheduled to lamb next week, beyond that I haven't a clue. There could be up to four more that lamb due to the ram 'breakout'. I should be able to tell more after shearing. It wouldn't break my heart if it was just these next three to lamb and then be done.
If you'll notice Eve is not .... spotted. She had good odds to be spotted, but alas, it was not to be. Thankfull I'm finding that it's not as important an issue with me this year--if I get a few spotties (ewes!) that would be great, but I'm hoping to enjoy the lambs a little more this year, regardless of color. I was just laughing and questioning Lark as I walked up to the barn last night and saw the dark blob on the ground. That sure doesn't look very spotted to me, girly! Eve is certainly a sweet little thing and is already coming up for scratches and wags her tiny tail. She is very dark right now, and for a minute I even thought she was black, although I knew that wasn't possible. Her mother has remained a very dark chocolatly color near her roots.
So there you have it! Hot off the press. Lambs are arriving at Fairlight!
And...computer is back, and I hope to get it hooked up tonight, and learn my new Ubuntu Linux system. Of course that is after I plant potatoes, play with Eve and clean out more stalls!