Monday, March 10, 2008

First born

The first lambs of 2008 were waiting for me this morning when I went out to feed. #537, a 3-year old ewe who I call "Fancy" had a nice split set of twins. Last year, Fancy was the first ewe to lamb. She raised twin lambs, a girl and a boy. I retained her ewe lamb (Reba), who will be lambing in April. Fancy wasn't old enough to breed her first fall. These first two lambs are sired by Hurricane. Fancy is a good mom, but didn't like me touching her teats (to check her milk supply).

the first lambs of 2008When I went out for my 10 p.m. check, I found another set of split twins. #536, a 3-year old black ewe lambed. I thought she might lamb tonight. She ate when I fed this evening, but afterwards was acting kind of goofy. The ram lamb is the biggest and white. The ewe lamb is black, with white markings on her face. They are sired by Hurricane.

Last year, 537 had twin ewe lambs, one black and one white. She rejected her white lamb. I raised "Annie" on a bottle. So far, it looks like she's accepting the white lamb. I've got my fingers crossed. Who says animals can't be racist! Contrary to popular belief, sheep are not colorblind.

pink nosesI love lambing season because every day is like Christmas morning. There are so many new packages to open (look between their legs to see what sex they are). I love the wrapping paper. Some lambs are pure white, others are spotted. Some are red and some are black. Mostly, they're white. The red ones are my favorite. I'd like to add another red ewe to the flock. I can't wait to see if Ears' lambs have big ears like he does. Some of the ewe lambs he bred are already bagging up.

I expect all of the mature ewes (n=29) to lamb in 17 or 18 days, one heat cycle. I put most of the ewe lambs (n=15) in with rams 21 days after the mature ewes. This way I can feed and manage them separately from the older ewes.

Despite having only 7 ewes, my dad's already had three sets of lambs: two sets of twins and one set of triplets.

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