Monday, April 30, 2012

I kind of left you hanging, didn't I?

I was so happy to finish lambing and to be able to catch up on my sleep, that I forgot to update you on the rest of the story!
So, when we chatted last, I think we were up to 11 lambs? Up until that point we were staying pretty even with rams and ewes, but somewhere along the way we got a little ram-heavy. The final tally is 16 lambs-10 rams, 6 ewes.
So here's what you've missed.
Mira, a gulmoget ewe who has virtually no spots in her pedigree, and has only had single lambs of either solid or gulmoget pattern, surprised me by not only having twins for the first time, but really astonished me with these spotted, gulmoget boys.

I don't normally keep a bunch of rams, but......I really got some nice rammy lambies this year. We'll have to see what fleece and horns look like in a few months. The boys really stole the show this year.

Edrea had these two stunners. 
This is her fawn katmoget ram. FLEEEECE!

Even his head is crimpy!

This is her moorit ram (below). At first glance I was a bit disappointed in his fleece, but upon closer inspection, I discovered that he is super-crimpy under his birth coat....and yes, for those of you that giggled about the 'purse' mentioned in the last post, his purse is very crimpy...thanks for asking!
So far this guy doesn't have much of anything as far as horns, just little flat patches. Both boys are likely half polls. The moorit may be fully polled.

The last lamb born was a ram lamb out of Lilly.
Lilly has always had twins, until last year when she had triplets. She was very large again and I fully expected at least twins from her. But this year, poor girl, she gave birth to a full grown Angus bull. This picture was taken when he was only hours old. He. Is. Huge!

Here he is at two days of age.

Here are more random lambie pictures.
This is Holly's ewe lamb...that will be living here...forever.

Halley's girls

 Edrea's boy again.

Below is Holly's gorgeous ram lamb. Sadly, he is teetering on the edge of losing his manhood and becoming a wether. Holly is still not making quite enough milk for both lambs, consequently, I have had to supplement him with a bottle a couple of times a day.  He is now quite friendly - not something I want to encourage in a potential breeding ram. His twin sister will not take the bottle and she was bigger to start with, so he became the bottle boy. He stays with the flock and he does still nurse from his mom, so I am hoping that her milk will catch up. It's kind of disappointing to think that a ram this nice might not get to pass on his genes, but if he can't be used for breeding he will be a lovely fiber pet.


Menemsha's ram lamb.

Laurel's boy.

Ashumet's boy.

Bella's boy.

Luna's girls.

Menemsha's twins...I'm not sure why they always look angry. These are really nice lambs too. The ewe refuses to let the flashy spots of the rest of the lamb flock outshine her, so she compensates by being obnoxiously friendly.
Now comes the hard part - waiting and watching them grow. I won't know for a while which lambs will be registerable, especially among the rams. I will watch to see how horns grow, what fleece looks like under those birth-coats, how bites are looking and whether the boys have all the appropriate equipment before deciding.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gratuitous lamb photos

I don't have time for an update, so I thought I would just unload a bunch of cuteness here.

Halley's twin ewes.

Halley's gul/kat ewe.

Halley's katmoget ewe.

Holly's twins. Ram (on right) ewe (on left).

Holly's ram.

Holly's ewe.

One of Luna's twin girls.

Ashumet's ram lamb.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And this is why my neighbors wonder about me....

No new lambs yet today, but the night is still young.

One of the new moms has been slow to produce a full udder, she is making milk, just not enough for both lambs. I have been watching her lambs carefully right from the start and could see that they weren't getting what they needed from her. I gave them a colostrum supplement the first day, and switched to milk replacer after that. 
I try to keep every possible emergency supply on hand for lambing....because that's how I roll.

I keep a stash of Pritchard  nipples in my lambing supplies, just in case, then all that I need is a 2 liter soda bottle to screw them onto- they work great- if you have a 2 liter bottle.

I had the Pritchard, I had the milk replacer, but I was lacking one important component. 
When I looked for a soda bottle to attach the nipple to, I had none. We typically don't drink soda, so there were no 2 liter bottles to be found -anywhere. I searched through our recycling bin trying to find something of a comparable size that I could sterilize and save myself a trip into town to buy a bottle.

I finally found something!!

Okay, so I look a little foolish walking back and forth to the barn in the middle of the night holding a plastic Vodka bottle with a nipple on it.....especially since I don't even, really. I don't. I make vanilla extract, and cheap vodka works the best for that. REALLY. True story.

So my neighbors have yet another reason to raise an eyebrow as they drive past my house. As if there weren't enough reasons already.  Sigh...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lambapalooza 2012

Quick update here before anyone else explodes.

Ashumet had a single black ram lamb this morning at 12:30am. Based on the size and shape of her enormous belly, I felt certain she was going to have twins, but clearly my ewes were just a bit over-conditioned this year. And by "over-conditioned", I mean they have a little extra junk in the trunk this year. A lot. Okay, it's every year. Whatever.

Ash's ram lamb

Holly had a spectacular set of twins yesterday afternoon. 
As you may know, in addition to Saturday, Tuesday is my other Farmers' Market day and I typically leave the house by 2 O'clock. Holly started labor at noon, so I told her, "Listen, Sister, you need to pop these babies out by 2:30, so I can go to I can buy you more food.....which you clearly don't need."
So, at precisely 2:30 both lambs were out and nursing. Thanks, Holly!

This is her ram lamb. The fleece looks promising on both of these babies, which I expected from Holly.
Though it's not perfect, her two-year-old micron was pretty decent:
Mic 26.0  /  SD 4.4/  CV 16.8/  CEM 7.6/  CF 85.4/  SF 24.5/  CRV 64.1 

Below is her lovely little fawn katmoget ewe lamb. Biggify to check out the fleece on this little girl....who is more than likely staying right here, BTW.

Interestingly, the four ewes that have yet to lamb have been continually lying around together outside....maybe they are seeking solitude from the indoor maternity ward..
Fingers crossed that I get some sleep tonight!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Semi-coherent Lamb update

Okay, so you need to catch up! Which, admittedly, would be infinitely easier if I would post in a more timely fashion. My bad.

So far 4 ewes have lambed, with a total of 6 lambs, 3 rams, 3 ewes, 6 more ewes left to give birth...I think, I can't do math right now because I am very, very tired.

Let's see, where did we leave off? Oh, yes, three have been born since last we conversed.

Bella, a first time mom, had a single ram lamb Saturday morning. Thank-you Bella for having him before I left for market in the morning, thus avoiding a panicked phone call from my husband saying, "I don't know nuthin' about birthin' no babies!"

He is a really nice little ram. So far, his fleece is crimpier at the shoulder and falls off toward the back, BUT, the fleece on his 'purse' ( if you don't know what that is, use your imagination...he carries his stuff in it) is very crimpy, so I am expecting that he will have lovely fleece by weaning time. Truly, I am not making that up, it is a good indicator of what adult fleece will look like.

Gah! I hate taking pictures in the barn, photos are so much better in natural lighting.
Bella's Rammy Lambie.

This morning, at 2:30 am, Luna had a matched pair of  ewe lambs. They are not as flashy as her ewe lamb Athena, that was produced from this same breeding last year, but they are both really nice girls.

The older 3 lambs went outside for the first time today. The weather had been too wicked up until now for them to go out, but the skies cleared this afternoon and although it was still very windy, the temperature was warmer, and the sun was shining. The lambs had a great time mingling with the rest of the flock.....well, that is, after the ewes stopped trying to kill each other. Very unladylike behavior for new mothers!

Here are Menemsha's lambs.
Ram on the left, ewe on the right. Both are looking really good right now. The ram definitely has a nicer birth-coat at this point, but time will tell...his purse is crimpy too-thanks for asking!

 I am really liking the looks of this little guy. He will be mioget color like his dam.

Laurel's boy really enjoyed exploring the outside world too. I added this picture for my friend Cassie who finds it hilarious that some part of Ande the llama shows up in every photo...unless I crop him out.

Run, Forrest, Run! No, his name isn't Forrest, it just seemed appropriate. C'mon, we go through this every year, you know that I take forever to think of names!
Run, Little Ram, run! Yeah, I need to think of names soon.

....and done.

Ande is super-excited about all the new lambs.

Now you are somewhat caught up...I'll see what happens tonight.

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