Tag Archives: lambing
We’re nothing if not consistent!? Every year, we breed our ewes to a natural color (non-white) ram. First two years, every lamb was white, even for our natural colored ewe. This year, we have 7 lambs so far and they are all dark colored. I think some are brown and some are black, but I will just have to observe and learn. This winter when things are quieter, I will have to put some more study into color genetics to understand what is dominant, etc.
We’re so consistent here that even the cat who happened through and adopted us nearly two weeks ago is also black?! He is fitting right in. He is fast friends with the dogs and comfortable with the chickens and the sheep.
Our first lamb of 2015 was born 2 days ago. And she is the first natural color lamb born on this farm! And, she looks just like her papa.
Hoglah is such an attentive mother that she makes it hard to get any pictures. Here is one taken inside of the pasture jug.
Most of my attempts today resulted in this:
Hoglah very deliberately placed herself between me and her little one.
But I did manage to catch a glimpse of the two together. Mama enjoying the fresh green grass and some dandelion blossoms and her ewe lamb testing out her legs.
New growth is popping out everywhere as seen here:
American Plum (Prunus americana) Blossoms
Tamarack (Larix laricina)
Lambs and grass are both growing – perfect timing! Micah had a lovely set of twin ewe lambs just a couple days after my last post. That brings our total to 4 ram lambs and 4 ewe lambs – same as last year, though a different math to get us there. I weighed everyone just a couple days ago and it is quite amazing how quickly the single ram lambs grow in comparison to the rest, though they are all growing quite well.
Also, all the lambs are white again this year in spite of the fact that I have a natural color ram. I intend to study this further. All of my ewes are identified in their registration paperwork as white with natural color heritage, except Noah who is natural color herself. Both of the rams I have used for breeding have been natural color and yet I still get only white lambs. I believe this is because white wool was a big priority in the early development of the Coopworth breed in New Zealand. This probably means that white wool is a dominant trait and it will require patience and persistence to increase the number of natural color sheep in my flock.
About 10 days ago Noah had twins and about 5 days ago Tirzah had twins (1 ewe, 1 ram) and Hoglah had a big single ram. We’re currently at a total of 6. Just waiting for Micah now.
The new lambs spend a couple days in these field jugs to get fully acquainted with their mothers and stay out of the torrential rain, then they are out with the group and the lamb games begin.
Mahlah had a big sturdy ram lamb a week ago. The other four ewes continue to develop their lambs. I’m so glad that they waited through the nasty weather we had this last week. I’ve begun to think of them as The Ladies in Waiting.
My farm is named for the glorious second round of color that we get each year. The maples, aspen and birches have their blaze of color here near the end of September each year. Things might be pretty colorless and dismal after that, but we are blessed with the golden hue that the tamaracks (larches) take on a couple weeks later. Sunshine is rare and eagerly anticipated during this time and when it does shine the golden tamaracks are so bright they are hard to look at. I put on my sunglasses and gaze away!
This photo shows the tamaracks in all their glory. The foreground includes the sheep fellas on the farm. The tall dark and handsome guy is Hemlock. He arrived here from Hidden Valley Farm back in early September. He will be meeting our ewes Hoglah, Mahlah, Noah, Micah and Tirzah in just a couple weeks. We’re looking for May lambs so they can comfortably be born and raised on pasture.
As I write this, tonight, we’re in a deep freeze. I think we had a high of 12 or 13 degrees Fahrenheit today. And we have 6″ or so of snow on the ground. Winter is definitely here in a big way. We did get a good dose of that blessed sunshine today, though. Lovely to look at from inside, but I did stick my nose out a few times to keep all the critters fed and watered.
Hoglah finally had her twins late last week. Today is the first day I have felt like taking pictures since then. First we had hot and muggy days where the only times the lambs frolicked was after dark. Then we had rainy, soggy, chilly. Who wants to look at pictures of damp, hunched back little lambs.
But today, now that is a different story. I think this might be the sort of day a sheep would order if they could do such a thing. It included enough wind to keep the bugs at bay, temps in the 50’s F and bright sunshine with just a few clouds. I enjoyed it too.
The lows in the 20’s F predicted for tonight may suit the sheep better than me, though. I’ve got the tender plants in the hoophouse covered with floating row cover, so hopefully they will survive. I’m already sad for the tree fruit that will probably not happen this summer because of this pesky frost.
Hoglah also had a ram and a ewe lamb. With this 3 makes a pattern on my farm where each ewe had one of each, it makes me wonder if this is always the case or just a coincidence. I guess I could ask around, or do some research online, or just continue to make observations here on the farm.
Noah was the first of our Coopworth ewes to lamb. She had this little white ewe lamb at just before midnight last night. Yes, if she was going to have a sleepless night, I ought to lose some sleep as well, I guess. Noah was smaller than the other ewes, so I wasn’t surprised that she had a single.
She is a 2 year old ewe and this is her first lamb. She is being a very attentive mother. At first, she was reluctant to let the lamb nurse, so I confined them inside a field pen so the lamb wouldn’t wander. Our melt off from the recent snow has the pastures quite soggy and I didn’t want that little lamb to find a puddle to lay in.
I’m interested in having a multi-color flock and I find it ironic that our charcoal ewe and our silver ram produced this pure white ewe.
We have four more ewes who will be lambing very soon. I’ll add more pictures as the little ones arrive.