Monday, April 20, 2009

Lamb Shots

Well, we spent this past weekend moving almost all the sheep. First, Larry moved the three big rams into their new pen area, complete with padlock so no visiting friends or family (young children in particular) can "inadvertently" open up the gate and let the rams out. Then, about 2 dozen ewes and 40 lambs were moved from the nursery pen to a small pasture area beyond the barnyard. Then the ewes from across the road (Group 3) that will start lambing shortly, were loaded into the trailer and brought here to our barn, so we can keep an eye on them as they start lambing. Then the ewes of Group 2 were brought from their pasture closer to the barn and joined with the ewes of Group 3. A few of the ewes and lambs yet in jugs were put in the nursery area and the Shetland rams were moved to a new pen. The only sheep that don't get to enjoy new digs are the Shetland ewes. They are behind the house in their pasture and that is where they will stay. A busy weekend and I got a little sun, as Saturday was warm and sunny. Yesterday it rained all day and tomorrow they are predicting snow, so I am glad we got everyone into their proper positions for the next round of lambs.

And speaking of lambs, here are some photos of the lambs from round one. In the center of this shot, you can see my yuglet Coopworth. His face is mostly white, with brown eyepatches and his body is a variegated brown and silver. I will probably keep him, depending on how he grows. If we do keep him, I can't wait to see his fleece next spring!

Some lambs - no the ewe does not have the mumps, she is merely chewing her cud!

A shot of our other colored Coopworth ram with the "yuglety" face:

A cute lamb on a sunshiny day:

A couple of the lambs reclining next to one of the big bales of hay. A nice, warm, sunny spot:

Coming back into the barn to get out of the sun:

Lambs pick the strangest places to sleep sometimes, like this tire impression in the nursery pen:

And sometimes they scare the crap out of you, doing their impersonation of a dead lamb:

This lamb is fine and is alive and well and out in the pasture with the rest of the older lambs and their moms. And a parting shot:

If you notice that the tail is quite wide at the top and then becomes very skinny, that is due to the fact that we dock our lambs' tails with tiny, thick rubber bands that are made especially for this purpose. The rubber band cuts off the circulation in the tail and after a few weeks, the tail drops off.
Current lamb count - 53 lambs, purebred Coopworth and Coopworth crosses, 25 ewes and 28 rams. We are about a third of the way there. The first group is almost done, only a few who haven't lambed yet and they technically have until the first week of June to lamb, since the ram was left in with them for just over two months, so that he wouldn't have to go back to his ram pen and be all alone while our other guys were with their girls. Groups 2 and 3 might start as early as about Thursday of this week and the way some of them look, I think a bunch of them will go early. I only have seven jugs, though, so I hope and pray they space the lambs out a bit. And the Shetlands should start lambing soon, but they aren't as labor intensive as the BWS. But it can get exciting around here at this time of the year!

1 comment:

Stasia said...

So. Jealous. Of the colored Coopworth ram lambs!!! Those are going to be some lovely fleeces!

Congrats on the new arrivals, Lael!

(And I know I owe you an email soon!)