Saturday, April 25, 2009

Khazar's spotted lambs have arrived!

Finally my long awaited lambs have arrived out of my ram Khazar!
Daisy apparently gave in to my threats of squeezing her, if she didn't pop pretty soon, to get those babies out, and went into labor yesterday evening. Everything went just the way I like it, completely uneventfully; discharge, panting, pawing, pushing, 15 minutes later, by 7 pm, lambs. First she delivered this handsome little ram lamb. He has amazing fleece already. I love his markings, although one of his yuglet (eye patch) markings is not complete...but with this kind of fleece we overlook those minor details!Then I got this spectacular little ewe lamb! Also fabulous fleece-soooo crimpy neck to breech.

Both lambs were up and nursing in short order and hopping about the jug within minutes.
Not to be outdone, Lilly decided that she might as well join the party when she saw that her sister, Daisy, was in labor, and started showing early signs of impending birth. I put Lilly in the lambing jug next to Daisy, which may have not been the best idea, Lilly was so anxious to have her own babies that she was trying to steal Daisy's through the bars of the jug. I ended up placing some towels in between as a visual barrier and that quieted things down considerably. I sat and watched Lilly for a couple of hours. Lie down, stand up, paw the ground, lie down, pant, pant, pant, circle, circle, lie down........yeah, I know how to party on a Friday night! I knew that these were early signs and it could be a while before we saw the fruits of to speak. Those of you that know me know that I am not, by any means, a late night person...we pretty much roll up the carpets here in Eldridge around 9pm, so long about 10:30 I am thinking that maybe I should bring my blankie out and sleep in the barn. Then I got a text message from my sister Marie, who had been out with some friends ( Whaaaat?? people do those sorts of things? Go out on a Friday night?) wondering how things were going. I told her that Lilly was in labor and since Lilly is Marie's ewe, Marie decided to come out and hang around at the "bum watching party". Long story short, we didn't see the first lamb until around 1:30 am ( I KNOW).

Two ewe lambs! The first one looks like two different is her right side.....And here is the left side. Again, really nice crimp to her fleece (thank-you Stephen).
Next this little princess made her debute. Her fleece is incredibly soft, not super crimpy, but soft and single coated. Her little well defined spots are hilarious.

She even has one hoof that's half black and half white. we are down to two ewes left to lamb. Guinivere, my solid moorit ewe bred to my ag/gulmoget ram (she is a first time mom and likely to have a single), and Edrea, my beautiful fawn Katmoget ewe bred to Zar.....I can't wait for the grand finale!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now we're on a roll!

Now that's more like it! At last I am getting some cooperation from my girls. I had Fallon written down on my calendar as due to lamb on the 19Th, but she lambed today, so she was only a couple of days off....or my calculations were a couple of days off...she didn't read the calendar...whatever. She was a first time mommy so I was fairly certain that she had a single in there, and she did. One little rammy lambie. He looks black right now, but he is going to be grey. Very nice little guy and he has a really tiny tail (that's a good thing). Fallon did a spectacular job and had this boy up and nursing within about 10 minutes.It will never cease to amaze me how quickly newborn lambs are up and running and know exactly where to find their dinner after having only taken their first breaths moments before. And when I say running, that is precisely what I mean!A flurry of activity and then, CRASH!So, for those of you keeping score; two ram lambs, two ewe lambs, 3 ewes have lambed and there are four more to go.........we haven't even gotten to the spotty sheepies yet ;).

Here are some more pictures of Willow's boy born yesterday (he seems to be the crowd favorite so far).
And look how huge Lovey's girls look at just two weeks of age. Boy, they change so fast.This is the usual type of picture that I get of Lovey's gulmoget girl, she is A BIT friendly and every time she sees me coming she runs full throttle toward me, and she is a TANK!
I am so appreciative of the fact that, thus far, all of the girls have had the courtesy to lamb in the daytime...despite the fact that I have been getting up to check on them a couple of times at night....I probably shouldn't have said's like when you go out riding with someone and they say, "My horse never bucks", and then you are scooping them up off the ground 10 minutes later...yeah, I'll probably be delivering lambs at 2am....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally, another lamb!

You probably thought that I had lots of lambs by now and was squirreling them away from the rest of the world, hoarding them as I do....well, no. I don't know what the deal is this year, but the girls have kept me guessing, and waiting, and I am pretty sure they have been laughing at me the whole while. Some have pretended to show signs of early labor, to which I responded by placing them in the lambing jugs...and waited...and waited....and ended up letting them back out again.
Early this morning Willow wasn't eating, her belly had clearly dropped over night, and her udder had grown exponentially, so into the jug she went! This time she wasn't joking and by afternoon she presented me with this lovely ram lamb. I was somewhat surprised that she had a single. Willow had a single her first year, and twins last year, she was HUGE this year and I fully expected twins again...nope! Note to self....maybe you should cut back on the sheep feed...
This is the first lamb out of Khazar and I think Zar did a pretty good job! Rammy has very nice even crimp to his fleece (at this point). Even at a few hours old he is looking nice and square. He has a very tiny tail and huge horn buds, which I was happy about because Willow has thrown a polled (hornless) ram and scurred (wonky little horns) ram lambs that were sired by two different rams.
So far no "sugar lips" or grey purse (signs of ag) and his white spots are through to the skin on his will be interesting to see what his color does.

He is just so darn cute! This picture is for you, Alanza.

"He isn't THAT cute!"

Hopefully I will have more to add very soon...the other 5 ewes are looking like they are getting very, really...I'm sure.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bum check!

I am being driven mad waiting for the remaining expectant ewes to lamb. I have been spending a lot of time looking at bums.....let me explain...this is not nearly as exciting or risque as it might sound. You can tell a lot about who's getting ready to lamb by looking at the bum. The bum is a wealth of information. I will spare you the details, you will just have to trust me on this one.

I have one ewe that should have been due yesterday, but she isn't looking like she is in too big of a hurry to be a new mom. To complicate things, this will be her first lambing and sometimes the newbies make a funny little game out of keeping me guessing. I have a couple of ewes that I am relatively sure of their due dates for next week, but they look like they are positively ready to explode at any given moment. I have one ewe that I put in the lambing jug last night because (sparing you the details again) she was having some clear signs that things would be moving along within the near future........I checked on her at 12am, 3 am, and got up again at 5:30 this morning to find her happily munching hay, alone, in the jug. I think that they are all giggling, waiting for the full moon tonight and then they will all go at once.

Moving right will have to forgive me, I am suffering from sleep deprivation.

It was finally a gorgeous day today so I decided to let the first born twins out to meet the rest of their barn mates for the first time. No matter how it's done, initial introductions are always stressful. If I turn out several groups of new moms and lambs together for the first time it is pure mayhem. It usually involves a lot of baaing, crying, and headbutting (and that's just from me), then there are babies trying to find the right set of legs to follow, mamas trying to listen for their own baby's call amongst the chaos, it is absolutely nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, it is just as bad letting just one new family out into the "general population". Everyone swarms around to see what's going on and to make known their position in the pecking order. Inevitably the lambs end up getting a sound head-butting or two from the other ewes until the novelty wears off and order is restored.

"Maybe if I stand very still she won't notice me."

....And then there is the issue of making Ande's acquaintance. Ande tends to be a bit overzealous and somewhat terrifying if you are a tiny newborn lamb.

"Please, make it stop!"

Things finally calmed down and Lovey let the group know that these were her lambs and she was going to kick some sheepie bum if anyone messed with them. Eventually the lambs got a chance to stretch their new little legs and practice a few spring loaded jumps, readying themselves for the lamb races that will take place once the rest of the contestants have arrived.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly these little guys grow and change.

"Could you do this when you were three days old?"

"I didn't think so!"

Clearly, I had better go get some sleep......hopefully I will have new arrivals to report soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Today is day 147 since the rams were put in their breeding groups with the ewes, and I knew that Lovey was due today (she and Max were romancing the instant that I put them together). Lovey is one of my most considerate ewes and always lambs at appropriate times, during the day, when I am with her. You have no idea how much I appreciate that! Not only is she considerate, but this is the second year in a row that she delivered twin ewe lambs. She really outdid herself this year and gave me what I asked for, a MOORIT GULMOGET EWE! She also had a beautiful musket ewe lamb. Bred to Max (F2 Dillon), those were the only possible patterns since he is (grey) ag gulmoget and she is solid black. Obviously both Lovey and Max carry moorit : ).
Little gully girl, still wet.

She looks to have pretty even crimp to her fleece at this point, and both lambs have their sire's nice tail. YAY!Musket ewe lamb.Being born is hard work!

"There sure are a lot of pictures of my Gulmoget sister in this post!!"

It looks like a couple of my other ewes are making plans for looks like it's going to be a crazy week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lamb envy...

I am patiently awaiting the arrival of my 2009 lambies...OK, that's a complete fabrication, I am not at all patient, I want lambs NOW! My fellow Shetland breeders have been taunting me with adorable photos on their blogs, and albums on Face Book...I can hardly stand it!
My lambing jugs are all set up, loaded with straw and equipped with heat lamps to take the chill off if necessary....all they need are little lambies to occupy that lonely space.

The girls are all getting quite large. Since the lambs gain most of their body weight the last 6 weeks of gestation, the changes in the ewes bodies are more evident every day. I will never get tired of watching the gymnastics going on within those enormous bellies while the ewes lie down to get some much needed rest, almost as if the lambs are preparing for the lamb races that are sure to come once they are all on the ground.

Daisy is bred to Khazar, my spotted ram from Stephen Rouse. She should have some wildly spotted lambies in there!

Willow is also bred to Zar. Yes, she is Ag, but she has awesome fleece and conformation, a teeny tiny tail, plus she is spotted. Hopefully we'll get spots without the Ag.

Lilly is one of Zar's girls as well.

Edrea is also part of the Khazar fan club. Edrea carries spots so perhaps I will get some flashy spotted Katmogets.

Guinivere is bred to my gulmoget ram......hoping for some moorit gullies.

Lovey is also bred to my gulmoget ram.....I am thinking that she will be lambing first. Her due date is Monday, but she could go a few days either way....I'm thinking earlier, perhaps....

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it will be soon! Just a guess : ).

"I am telling you, Lilly, one of you better have lambs soon before mom loses her mind...more than usual, I mean."

Copyright info

Creative Commons License
The content of Crosswinds Farm blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.