Monday, January 29, 2018

New life

Between 10 and 10:30 Oreo gave us a pair of black lambs.
She had the first one under the baby monitor at the end of the barn.
 I took her coat off before I moved her and the lamb.

 After I moved her into the lambing jug, 
I went out to take more pictures.
Above in Shirley, Horned Dorset, and her twins.

 This is Patty Duke, a Dorset/Romney, and her
single. She is a first time mother.
 Midnight, Dorset/Romney, and her twin black
lambs. She is the one laying down.

 Oreo, right after she gave birth to #2.
#1 is already under her looking for milk.

 I still can't get good pictures of Jorja's twins.

 Jack Black and Callie Calico think I am 
taking WAY too much time in the barn.

 The chickens want to know when will spring come
and when can we come out of the dog kennel.
The minute I open their door, they will ALL be in 
the sheep barn pooping on the hay. They have plenty
of room where they are. Their house is 10 x 10 and
 their kennel is 10 x 20.  They had fresh fruit this morning.

Of life and loss

We were not supposed to start lambing until the 30th.
I think Jeremy just/pushed over the fence without my knowledge.

So far, we have had 15 lambs delivered.
The first 2 were premature by at least a month and
 stillborn. I don't think the ewe even knew she gave birth.
She is only a 2 year old. We will let her try one more year.

Then from the 21st to this morning, we had 7 ewes give us
13 more lambs. The only one to single was a first time ewe.
That is perfectly fine. We like them to single the first year to 
find out how they will do as a mother. 

So far, we've had 3 other lambs die. 2 from the same mother.
She will be shipped from the farm.This is not the first year 
she has had issues. This was her 2nd chance. Basically, she 
abandoned the first baby when it was 2 days old, and it froze
to death over night. And, we have no idea what happened to 
the 2nd one, but that it was dead in the lamb kindergarten
at 1 week old. The 3rd one was to a mother who had an 8
pound baby, and 2 hours later had a 3 pound baby. The last
one was just too small to survive. Even with me trying to 
supplement it. One of our vets favorite saying is
'Sick sheep seldom survive.'
That also goes for the undersized and premature.

But, we have 10 healthy lambs. The last 2 came at 
1:30 this morning. I tried to take pictures of them in 
the lamb jug, but black lambs are so hard to photograph.

This post is picture heavy!
I just took my camera and tripod and started taking pictures.
Usually the tripod is enough to keep them from coming too
close, but you will see there are quite a few brave girls.

 The boys.

With all the loss we've already had, and 20 more ewes
to lamb, I am not sure I want to do this again next year.
We've had our share of losses over the last 26 years, but 
this year has been by far our worst. And, we are only 1/3 of
 the way through. The only thing I am wondering about is if
whatever the ram brought home the fall of 2016 after breeding
at a 4-H farm, is it still present in the rams and the ewes?
Stormy is 10 next month and will be retired.
I have kept notes the last 15 years, or more, about who bred
who, and who lambed what. I will have to compare last year
with this year and see if I need to cull some girls. I hate to 
do it, but I am up to 40 sheep. That is 10-20 more than I should
have in this barn. Especially when there could be 30-60 lambs...


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