Sunday, March 25, 2007

A successful lambing season

It was a very successful lambing season. The ewes lambed in 18 days, for the most part unassisted. The only ones left to lamb are two yearlings, which I bred one heat cycle later. My other two yearlings were impregnanted early by the roving black ram. They are both nursing black ewe lambs.

At last count, there are ~72 lambs, ~2.2 lambs per ewe. One lamb from a set of triplets was born dead, and I found a 4-day old triplet lamb dead. I think his mother crushed him. Other than that, there have been no mortalities.

#24 with one of her twin ewe lambs
I'm bottle feeding two lambs. One is a twin from a ewe that rejected her. Her mother is a "racist!" She gave birth to a black lamb and a white lamb, and she doesn't let her white lamb nurse. I call the lamb, "Annie." I've grown very attached to her. That's the problem with bottle lambs. I am also supplementing a triplet lamb, out of a 2 year old ewe. She could probably raise him, but he was born small so I had offered him a bottle. I named him "Hondo." This year's naming theme is western characters.

While the majority of the lambs are white, there are lots of colored lambs, including 6 black lambs, of which 4 are ewe lambs. I'll probably keep one of the ewe lambs, to ensure the continuation of color in my flock. I may keep another red lamb, too. There are a few of those. I enjoy the different colored lambs, and so do many of my customers.

The lamb in the front is Annie
This year, there are more ewe lambs than ram lambs. Many of my best ewes are raising two ewe lambs. That will make my selection decisions hard. There will be so many good ewe lambs to pick from. On the other hand, the ewe (#426) that I wanted to have ram lambs did. She gave birth to two monster boys, 13.2 and 12.7 lbs. I nicknamed them the "Bruise Brothers." To go along with the western theme, I'll probably dub them Butch and Sundance. They are growing fast and at least one, if not both, should be RR. Mom is QR while the sire is RR.

The hoop house is full. I let the twins out for the first time today. I will probably alternate between the twin and triplet pens. There's not enough grass to keep them out all the time. It's been raining a lot, so hopefully the grass will grow quickly. The ewes and lambs are eating me out of house and home!

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