Saturday, February 09, 2013

Thirteen lambs

The 2013 lambing season began last Monday with the birth of triplet "Mules." The dam was #895, a big, five year old Katahdin ewe I call "Bridget". This is the first time that Bridget has had triplets. These are her 9th, 10th, and 11th lambs. The sire is B-ears, my half Katahdin x half Blackface ram. Bridget has been bred to B-ears for the past several lambings. She always produces outstanding Mule lambs.

First born triplet Mule lambs
Since the triplets were born, five sets of twins have been born, all sired by Phelps, my new Katahdin stud ram. Four of the ten Katahdin lambs are ewe lambs, all RR. There are several colored lambs. Of course, the colored lambs are almost always males. I've already got my eye on a white ram lamb (RR) birthed by #026. He weighed almost 12 pounds and is a beauty.

A split set of Katahdin (RR) lambs
One problem, so far. #841, a five year old red Katahdin is only producing milk on one side. The other half of her udder has mastitis. I have been treating her with systemic and intra-mammary antibiotics. She is not sick (eats like a pig!) and the udder is not warm to the touch. I offer her twin ram lambs (Pierre and Jacques) bottles several times a day, but they don't take much. Perhaps, she'll be able to raise two lambs on one side. But after weaning, it's bye-bye. I don't want to keep a ewe with mastitis. Too bad, because she's been a very prolific ewe, having produced several sets of triplets.

Pierre (top) and Jacques
This year, I will have two lambing seasons. Eighteen ewes are due to have lambs in February.  The rest of the ewes are due to start lambing in Mid-March. The five lambs (yearlings when they lamb) will have their lambs in April.

I'm still waiting for Spooner's first lambs to be born. Only two ewes were bred to him this first round. Spooner is my dairy ram (5/8 Lacaune x 3/8 Katahdin).

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