Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Claire lambs!

I don't do regular barn checks at night during lambing season. I am an insomniac, though, so when I wake up, I often go out for a quick peak into the barn to make sure all is quiet. I woke at 4 am and decided to check the barn. We have so many ewes that could go any day. Claire was overdue by 3-4 days. She is one of the few ewes that I saw bred. Most I never see. It has been colder than normal, and that makes me worry, too.So, Claire was laboring away, so I went back into the house to change and make a cup of tea. Still no progress in 30 minutes, so I checked her out, and she had a very large head and one leg stuck. I helped ease out the ram, a 9 lb. spotted moorit with huge horn buds, quite a stocky boy! Claire got him cleaned up, but then decided that she was famished and dove into the manger. Since it was so chilly, I brought the ram lamb into the house to warm him up and gave him a few sips of colostrum from the freezer in a bottle, just in case. Meanwhile, Claire got back to business and delivered an 8 lb. black grey spotted ewe lamb. Once they had bonded, I brought the ram out and he set about getting a good drink from momma. Sire is our new Tongue River ram Thunder SRX 917T. He will be 4 this spring and still has the sweetest, calmest disposition. Though neither Claire nor Thunder are spotted, they both carry the spotted gene, so voila! Spotted lambs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And so it begins!

Our first lambs of 2011 have arrived! Just as I suspected, Charlotte was the first to go. Her first lamb was a 7 lb. moorit mouflon ewe ! This is the 166th lamb born on our farm, and the very first moorit mouflon.
I may have to keep this one.Lamb #2 was a 7 lb. moorit grey ram. Since his grey pattern is so pronounced, I'm thinking he may be
homozygous for grey. Sire is
Grendel TCE561W
Ewes, admiring the new arrivals.
I thought Charlotte was done lambing, but she surprised me. I went out to check on her later, and she had a lamb stuck, coming out backwards. I quickly helped pull it out, and it wasn't breathing. I tried swinging it, mouth to mouth resuscitation, sticking hay up it's nose, but to no avail. She had inhaled birthing fluids and drowned, poor thing,
an 8 lb. black ewe lamb.

This was Charlotte's third set of triplets in six years!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Goodbye Winter!

Before winter slips away, I thought I'd share a few more photos.
Here is the north pasture, so calm and peaceful in it's blanket of white.
The view right across the road from us. I love our meandering creek.Wandering in the winter wonderland.Our ducks taking a winter swim.Snowflake, our Sebastopol goose who thinks she's a sheep.Elvis, one of our Muscovy drakes.
With a crest like that, how could we name him anything else? A barncat, sunning herself.

Salem, always keeping a watchful eye.
We may have her bred this spring.
We've never had crias born on our farm.
We could use another guardian.

Rams, hanging out. Their job is over for another year.

They are such a handsome group. A few of the ewes, waiting for breakfast.

Our matriarch Stella, wading through the snowdrift.
The days are getting longer. The snow is almost gone.
Lambs will be here any day!!!