Friday, April 20, 2012

Lambing 2012

Another lambing done!  We had a couple of unfortunate losses and 1 bottle baby but overall, I'd say it was success.  As always it was tough to plan my time off so that I could be here during the bulk of the lambing so Bridget's week saw a good portion of the deliveries.  So here is her take on her week of lambing.

Each lambing seems to be unique and this year was no exception. First of all we had a large proportion of new moms to experienced moms. Secondly, the weather was unusually warm which brought out the bugs. Thirdly, our final number of lambs (26) were more than four to one rams to ewes.

It all began March 23 when Jill a first timer gave birth to twin white lambs a boy and a girl just when Jen got home from work. My week of lamb watch subsequently started and somewhere in that week it turned into a big white blur with punctuations of black. So I will share some of the highlights.

We had one bottle lamb who was the second of two boys and much smaller than his brother. Mom, Sarah, ignored him and we almost conned another first timer Lucy into being his new mother but alas it was not to be. We had decided to name this group of lambs after herbs and spices so he became Basil. Basil of course required middle of the night feedings so after my week he came home with me where he delighted the five dogs my nephew Matthew and Sister Deb with his presence for several days. The cats were unimpressed.


The next day, Daylight gave birth to two white ewe lambs, Rue and Tansy.  She has previously had two other sets of twins.  Both lambs have a wonderful personality taking after their mother and love to come up to share Basil's bottle if we'll let them!


Of the Shetland/BFL crosses, Willow stands out the most. She is the daughter of Pewter our only purebred Shetland and was a very pretty black and white lamb. Her fleece has changed into being an off white cream now with her head and legs remaining black. She gave birth to black twins a ewe and a ram that both have sprinklings of white on their faces and backs. I have a beautiful sweater made from Willow and her brother Wyatt that Jen knitted and I always think of these guys when I wear it. Willow has been a great Mom. She lambed in the pasture and nicely followed me as I carried her babies into the lambing shed. We named them Anise and Licorice. you think she's posing for the camera? :)
A second highlight of another first time mom, Sadie just about sent us into uncontrollable laughter. She gave birth to her lamb in the pasture then turned around to look at him. When he shook his head, flinging birth fluid all around, she jerked back like "what the hell is that?"  She repeated this several times before warily approaching him to sniff and finally lick him.  Fortunately they bonded and all was well. 

Sadie with her new wet lamb...WTH??

One afternoon I noticed two tell tale hooves hanging out of Alice, daughter of Cybil. Each time Alice would baaa, the hooves would move out and in. She continued following the flock around not doing any of the predictable "I am about to have a lamb" behaviors. She just kept baaing. I called Jen who was on her way home. She thought there was no way things would wait until she got out to the lambing shed but just as she was walking out, Alice pawed at some straw laid down and promptly produced her lamb, not getting up, no straining just plop...plop. Alice was a worry to us. She hadn't seemed in the best condition and when she started to lamb we were concerned that things might not go well. The dreaded word "prolapse" had been whispered. But we underestimated her. She gave birth to healthy twins ewe lambs and has been a stellar Mom! 

So that was Bridgets week of lambing and my 2 weeks followed, 1.5 of those off work (yeah!).  Thankfully I was home when Leah decided to lamb late one night (actually I think it was early in the morning).  Because she was a first timer, she was pretty tight and I had to help get the first ram lamb out.  When it was obvious she was having problems with the second one as well (usually the second delivers w/o issue), I gloved up again and went in for a feel.  Sure enough, his head and 1 leg were back so I had to get the head turned and pull the second leg forward.  Its so hard not to poke their eyes out when you're doing this and I have to admit, his were a bit puffy for the first few days.  Both are doing well and Leah has proved to be a good mum.

There were a couple of other assists but the rest came pretty uneventfully.  No 19 pounders this year thankfully! Here are a few more pics from Lambing 2012. Enjoy!


Basil snuggling up with Willie

Willie filling in as lamb nanny while mom Claire gets a snack.

Cool it kidos, Moms about to blow!!


  1. Willie makes such a good surrogate mom :)

  2. I love reading the stories! I'm knitting up wool from previous shearings so I love to see the new babies.