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.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Smug Tabitha Lambs

What Ram? What Lambs? I can't hear you.....

Oh..those lambs...
(Even though this picture is slightly blurry, I love it.)

Tabitha broke the "Monday Lambing" streak when she presented me with twin ewe lambs early Wednesday morning. Firstly Tabitha was not supposed to be in the breeding group this year--she was the first of the Just Jack breakout conquests. I did have her down though as a possibility but not until Sunday. Secondly last year she carried on something terrible pre-lambing, because she thought she'd had her lambs already and someone had stolen them. So I expected the same this year. Thirdly I was in no condition to be checking up on her, since I had a tooth surgically extracted late Tuesday afternoon and was knocked out on Tylenol (it doesn't take much...)for most of the night. All that to say----I didn't do night checks and even if I did I sure wasn't expecting it to be her--Duckie is the one I'm keeping my eye on. Therefore when I went out to feed about 6:00 a.m. and Tabitha didn't come down to eat, my brain very slowly registered...Uh Oh. When I walked up to the barn I saw a dark blob standing next to her, and heaved a sigh of relief. Good, she already had it and it was standing. When I walked into the barn I saw a second little shadow behind her. Doubly good! The larger lamb was already dry and Tabitha was working on the second one. First check was for horn buds...yippee! None! However since I've been fooled before, I did a more thorough check when I caught them to put them in the lambing jug. Twin ewe lambs. What pretty little girls they are too. I know this is shocking, but yes they are solid moorit with head splashes! ;-)

Tabitha's first ewe lamb.

This is the way I like to see them--already born, dried and nursing when I find them. I had to go on into work, so I dipped their navels and gave them some nutridrench and trimmed Tabitha's udder area. I thought both were doing well, but I'm always concerned when I have to go off.

Tabitha is about the sweetest creature on earth (maybe only exceeded by her daughter Rosemary) so it was pretty funny that she decided to push me around a little. The first indication was when I picked them up to move to the jug and she threw her body in front of me repeatedly to get me to stop and let her babies go. Once in the stall, she would put herself between me and them. Then later that night when I was taking pictures, I was trying to get a good shot of the smaller ones ears, so I was holding her head a little to the side. Tabitha put a stop to that--she took her head and gently butted my hand away. Enough of that, she seemed to say. She did that several times before I got the hint. Mom and babies seem to be doing great. If the weather weren't so icky today, I'd let them out awhile. Maybe tomorrow.

First Ewe Lamb again.

The bigger girl has some pretty good splashes on her face and head area and is a darker color. The smaller ewe has a white marking on her forehead. Her ears are a light golden color---I couldn't get a good photo of them though. Both girls have good tight crimp, although the smaller one is more consistent throughout.

This brings the lamb count to 7--4 girls and 3 boys.

Tabitha's Second Ewe lamb.

This morning I went out to check the little hooligans and count heads. I heard Rosemary (always talking) come into the paddock, so I thought it'd be a good time to see if the babies were all still okay. Rosemary was in the Shetland barn and I counted, one, two...wait three! babies. Rosemary did you know you now have three babies? It seems like Freddie Fender who is River's ram, likes to hang out with Marty Robbins, Rosemary's ram so he was tagging along with them. All of sudden Freddie realized his momma was not there, so he went tearing around screaming for her. About the same time River, who was out in the pasture realized that her baby was missing and she started yelling for him. As she came running out of the pasture, she suddenly acquired two lambs, neither of which were hers. So here is River, running to Freddie, with Eve and Conway hot on her heels...and hot on their heels are Lark and Luna mothers of the last two lambs. It was quite funny, and full of drama of course. Those poor mothers are hard pressed to keep up with their lambs once they are a week or two old. Some of them give in and just become neglectful moms and others wear themselves out trying to keep an eye on their unruly offspring.

Two more pictures of the second ewe lamb

Sheep Shanty Town
Rosemary on the left, Lark in front and Tabitha in the back

With more lambs on the ground, I have to start dividing up the bigger stalls to pen ewes and lambs up at night. The first few ewes that lamb get to enjoy large stalls, then as more and more lamb, I use panel dividers with small gauge wire along the bottoms to divide up the bigger stalls. The dividers can be opened and wired to the sides of the pen during the day, to let the newest moms have a little more room, after I turn out the older lambs and ewes. It gets kinda complicated for a few weeks, but it's easier to do it like this so that the moms are used to going up, so that the night before shearing I can get them all up with minimal problems. (Theoretically)

Have a good weekend and beautiful Easter!


Deb said...

Congratulations on all of your beautiful lambs Tammy - how nice when it all goes well and Mom's do it on their own :)
I love the photo of Mom/baby. Just beautiful -

Have a great Easter weekend ~

Vicki Lane said...

Happy Easter to you, Tammy. And thanks for sharing your flock with us -- they're such beauties!

Kara said...

I have a sheep shanty town too, alike like that. Congrats on your lovely lambs. I love that photo of the mom and lamb, priceless.

JK said...

The lambs are just precious Tammy.

Happy Easter to you too!

Wrensong Farm said...

What beautiful little lambs! I love the term Sheep Shanty Town.....I will have a similar creation as my girls lamb. Happy Easter!

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

They are lovely. Congratulations.

Tammy said...

Thank you. Everyone lambed sucessfully this year w/out any major problems and that is always a blessing.