Adventures in Lambing 2012
This year's lambing is out of the way. I want to share with my readers the tales of lambing from 2012. We had 8 ewes, and one ram. In the day they are in a pasture, but at night they are in the winter. This is Canada and we have snow on the ground, coyotes in the area, and it still gets cold at night.
- Girlie has Leap Year Triplets
- Good Morning Mamma Katahdin
- Poor Blackie has Triplets, but Loses One
- Patsy Has Twins
- Diamond has Triplets
- Favorite has Twins
- Same Day... Different Sheep - White Katahdin
- Last One - Mrs Dark Brown Barbado
- Wrapping Up
Girlie has Leap Year Triplets
Girlie is a very friendly sheep, part Barbado, part wool. She gets a thick coat in the winter, but sheds most of it in the spring and summer. Anyhow, she had triplet lambs on Leap Year Day, February 29th. She had 2 ewe lambs and one ram lamb. The ram lamb was much larger than the ewe lambs.
One of the ewe lambs was not looking too good a few days later, she was not getting enough milk to drink - sheep only have 2 nipples so clearly the other lambs were taking more milk. As such we started bottle feeding her twice a day. She was still getting some milk from mom too.
Good Morning Mamma Katahdin
Katahdin sheep are hair sheep, we have two adult ewes that were twin sisters. Their mother was a great mom. One of these sheep is darker than the other, we call her Brown Katahdin, her sister (whom you will see below) is a little lighter. On the morning of March 2, my wife found her with 2 little ewe lambs, one mostly white with some brown/orange hairs, and one mostly black with a star.
Brown Katahdin is a very protective mother - she stomps her foot if you get too close to her lambs.
Poor Blackie has Triplets, but Loses One
Blackie was a bottle baby when she was a lamb, she is very friendly. Part way through the day we observed her go to our older barn which the sheep have access to anytime they want. It is one of those barns that leans to the side, and you have to bend over in.
My wife found her with one lamb and carried the lamb back to the main barn, with Blackie following. Later when she went out to check on Blackie, she found two more lambs, sadly though, one was dead. This left her with two lambs, one brown girl, and one black and white boy.
In the picture, they are a day old, the brown lamb is resting in the back ground. Blackie really is all black, but her wool fades.
Patsy Has Twins
Still.. on the same day as the last two, March 2nd. Later in the day when it was time to bring all the sheep into the barn for the night, Patsy was missing. Patsy is a very unique sheep, part Jacob, she had 5 horns at one time, but must have knocked one off this last summer and now only has 4 horns.
She was found in the old barn with two black and white lambs, one ram lamb, one ewe lamb.
Diamond has Triplets
Diamond is our largest sheep. She often has triplets and did so again on March 5. She had 2 ewe lambs, and 1 ram lamb, all black and white with cow like markings - a cute trio, if I do say so. Rather than showing you their baby pictures, the picture I am showing is of them a few weeks later - you will notice that 2 have hair coats, and one has tight curly wool.
When born two had bad legs, their fetlocks on their front legs were bent so much they were walking on the front of their legs. This was due to being cramped inside their mother. We had to spend a few minutes every day straightening them, and could not let them outside until their legs were good and strong.
At this point we noticed a trend - every ewe had at least one black and white lamb, the father, a hair sheep, is mostly white, with only a black head, and small black "saddle" marking.
Favorite has Twins
Favorite sheep is a bit "special" if you know what I mean. She had a stroke a few years ago and cannot keep food in her mouth. She is Blackie's mom.
She cannot clean her lambs real well so my wife had to help. She broke the trend of black lambs, having two mostly white ones, although both have rings of black around their eyes. Both are ewe lambs, one has hair, the other has wool.
Same Day... Different Sheep - White Katahdin
That same day, when we were bringing the other sheep in for the night, I noticed White Katahdin, sister of Brown Katahdin, was missing. She was not hard to find, she was around the corner beside the barn with two lambs, one brown, one black and white. I picked up the one lamb, my wife grabbed the other, and the mother followed into the barn and we put them in a stall.
The brown one is smaller, and is a girl, the black one is a ram lamb.
I realize some of these pictures are not great, it is hard to get the newborn lambs to look at you, they mostly look at their mother - it is only when they are a few days old they look at the people things.
Last One - Mrs Dark Brown Barbado
Mrs Dark Brown Barbado is Girlies mother. She is a Barbado hair sheep.
Last year she had triplets, and was huge so we were sort of expecting triplets from her again. Actually it was a bit of a relief she only had twins, both black and white, and both ram lambs. They were big and strong, being born on March 13.
These twins are the last lambs - bringing the total to 18 lambs, 11 girls, and 7 boys. At night when we bring the sheep in to the barn we have to count to make sure they are all there, the mothers run back and forth trying to sort out where their lambs are in the confusion of coming into the barn for supper.
Wow - this article took forever to write, I hope you enjoyed it, now I know why I leave blogging to my wife.
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