Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lambing is done!

Lambing season has officially ended at Crosswinds Farm. With only two ewes left to go on Tuesday, first-time mom, Cassie, had a gorgeous ewe lamb with the softest, crimpy, single-coated fleece. This ewe lamb is either fawn or mioget-leaning more towards fawn. These pictures make it look like there is a yellowish cast to the fleece indicating mioget but in reality I am not seeing that...I will give it some time. Her sire is mioget and her dam is modified as well.

By Wednesday night my final holdout, Lovey, started labor....of course she made this momentous decision just as I was getting ready to head for sheep have the BEST timing!
Lovey always has twins, so I was anticipating one last lovely set of twins to end the season-SOMEBODY needed to pick up the slack-most of the ewes had single births this year which was quite unusual for my group.

Since Lovey is an old pro at this there was nothing remarkable about her labor, everything was progressing quite normally. The water bag was presented and soon afterwards the first lamb was delivered. It was a nice ewe lamb. Immediately after birth the lamb was having trouble. She was very still and was not attempting to breathe so I quickly cleared her airway and gave her some brisk rubs with the towel and after a few tense minutes she was up and looking for lunch. Lovey began to push again and soon the feet and head of a ram lamb were visible, with a final push he was delivered. Instantly I knew something was terribly wrong, there was only a feeble attempt to breathe and almost no movement. I tried everything in my bag of tricks to save him, but I wasn't able to. I was heartsick. This happens sometimes, and I know that there was nothing else that could have been done, but that doesn't make it any easier. This is the most difficult part of shepherding. I am thankful that at least one of the twins survived.
This is the lucky little ewe lamb..............I guess now that all of the lambs are on the ground I should start assigning some names.
I am keeping a close eye on her as she seems a bit less vigorous than most lambs. She is nursing well, in fact, Lovey always has a huge udder and is producing enough milk for the twins that she was expecting so I know that the lamb is getting more than her fair share of milk-no problem with that. All of her vital signs are good-she just seems pretty quiet and subdued. I am not sure what happened with this pregnancy-just one of those things, I suppose. I still have them in the lambing jug and have cut out Lovey's grain ration completely to slow her milk production a bit. They won't be going out with the rowdy group for another couple of days until I am certain that everything is OK.
The rest of the group is doing great and growing by leaps and bounds...literally. What a nice crop of lambs this year.
It has been raining here for the past couple of days, so I am hoping to get individual pictures for a blog post of each lamb once the weather clears........maybe they will even have names by then!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Too much of a good thing?

Can you stand any more lamb pictures? I want to introduce you to the newest babies. Halley had this little ewe lamb (or skunk...not sure which) Thursday morning. I was hoping for another moorit gulmoget out of Halley, but we will take this little girl. She is such a little cutie. So far it looks like her fleece will be more intermediate.

This morning at three AM Lilly gave birth to black flecket twins-one ram, one ewe, which brings the count to 5 girls, three boys-go girls! This is the little ewe, her birth coat has very soft crimpy fleece.
And this is her super-hero twin brother complete with mask and cape (not an actual caped-flecket)....everything a boy needs to be a crime-fighting stud muffin...even a flashy smile. He also has very large horn buds, great fleece (so far), and he will have striped horns.
This ram lamb will definitely be for sale. My waiting list is filling fast and I don't have as many lambs as I had anticipated so if you are interested in anything please let me know so that I can match up lambies with new owners.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lambie fix for the day

I just wanted to give all of the lambie fans their fix for the day, then I need to get back to the barn...Halley (moorit gulmoget ewe) is getting ready to pop!

Welcome to Willow's little ewe lamb born yesterday afternoon. This addition brings the tally to 3 ewes, 2 rams.

Now for a few 'around the farm' photos...and of course, cute lambs.

"I am so tired of all this lamb business!!!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

More lamb-o-liciousness.

I am a little tired...a little....somehow 2 1/2 hours of sleep is just not cutting it...I don't understand.

OK, so my flock has grown since we last chatted. Friday night, Mira, my black gulmoget ewe (for my non-sheepy friends-that means she has markings like a doberman pincher), started acting like she was thinking about going into labor. Usually if the girls are getting close to being in labor before I go to bed I put them in a lambing jug, that way I don't have to try to herd them into it during the middle of the night-while fighting off worried llamas that think that I am chasing pregnant sheep for no good reason. Mira is a first-time mom so I wanted to make sure that she was in the jug overnight-just in case she started active labor while I wasn't out there. I got the rest of the girls out of the barn and ushered Mira toward the pen. She thought about whether or not she liked this arrangement and she opted for-not so much. I had her nearly in the pen when she decided to go for broke, rushing past me and jumping, yes jumping a 3 1/2 foot fence, clearing it, pregnant belly and all.....which ironically is how she got herself into this mess in the first place. If you recall, she was the ewe that I never intended to breed last fall because she was so little. During breeding season last fall I successfully placed the little darling into a pen to protect her virtue from the ram, but she saw things differently and let her hormones get the best of her, scaled two fences-on two separate occasions to rendezvous with said ram, hence the now-pregnant belly. After her repeat performance of her high-flying acrobatic stunt on Friday night I decided that rather than risking her jumping again and injuring herself-or the unborn lamb-I left her out with the rest of the flock.....while I worried. I got up 3 times at night to check her. Her udder was huge and she was digging a hole to China, but no actual labor yet. I reminded her that she should probably think about producing the offspring by morning since I was signed up for a craft show in Iowa City that I would have to leave for at 7am. Complicating matters, when I told my dear husband that he may have to play midwife while I was away, he got the old 'deer in the headlights' look and exclaimed, "I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies!" Oddly enough he volunteered to go to the craft show in my stead with my sister, Marie, if it came down to that....the lesser of two evils?
After trying to sleep between barn checks all night I got up at 5am to see what my poor husband's fate would be for the day and discovered that Mira was starting actual labor. She delivered her beautiful black gulmoget ewe lamb at 6:45. I checked her bag....not like at the airport-I don't charge...I should say that I made sure her colostrum was flowing. I made sure the baby nursing, headed for the shower and only missed my targeted departure time by a few I left I reminded my husband that he was off the hook on both counts, for now, but there were 3 other ewes that were looking a little suspicious....again I got the deer in the headlights look.

Mira's baby girl. "Woo Hoo, it's good to stretch these legs!"
So, Marie and I went off to the craft show in Iowa City and finished up there at 4 o'clock.
Upon my arrival home my husband was happy to report that none of the other girls had any signs of labor in my absence, but I still checked them all and none looked close....yet.
At 9 pm (my pre-bedtime barn check) Edrea started dig, dig, circle, figure 8, circle.....lay down for a while and chew some cud, circle, circle. Hmm, I thought, I might as well just hang out here in the barn and wait for her to lamb rather than get in and out of bed all night. So wait I did.....and I waited....and waited while I watched repeat performances of the dig/circle/figure 8 show. FINALLY at 1:45 there was pushing, and by 2:40 a gorgeous katmoget ewe lamb with incredible fleece was born.

Drool on this, my fiber addicted friends!

Oh, yeah, this little girl is staying right here.
Nice straight legs for a newborn!
" I just don't see what all the fuss is about those girls!"

Awww, you boys are still very handsome.
For those keeping track-2 rams, 2 ewes. 6 more ewes left to lamb.....I think, I better go out and check what's going on out there! Also names are coming soon, I am going with a Cape Cod theme since that is where my people came from.....and you thought that I was from a galaxy far far away, didn't you?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gratuitous lamb photos.

I only have time to post a few pictures, but I know that you have all been waiting patiently, so here they are. The first lambs of 2010 arrived this morning around 7 o'clock. Sommarang Daisy gave birth to two nice ram lambs. First born (no names yet), is a moorit yuglet flecket. He is much larger than his little brother. The fleece looks pretty good on both boys so far, but they are still drying out since it is only 40-ish degrees so I will have a better idea about that later....and yes, I do have a heat lamp for them.
Little bro is more heavily spotted (moorit also) and has a shorter, crimpier fleece : ).I will post more later, but let's face it, you didn't really want to hear what I had to say, you just wanted to see cute lambies :).

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