Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Brat Patrol

I can't believe how fast these lambs grow up. They all are eating hay, grain, mineral salt and drinking water, grazing on the grass and still nursing too! Even Trinity is taking almost 50 oz of milk replacer a day now! Plus the 4 oldest lambs are all chewing cud. Their little rumens are actually functioning now. Tonight they are all able to come and go from the barn for the first time overnight. We just did a barn check and they are all lined up outside against the stone foundation, babies and mamas, under the stars. The black flies have arrived but tonight it's cool and there are no bugs, it's a gorgeous evening for a lamb debut to pasture sleeping!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Blessing

The past few days have afforded me some time to be able to commune with the flock during their reasonably dull existence of eating, nursing and resting. They are a good group, some more gregarious than others, some want to be left alone while others are right in my face demanding some shmoosing. This afternoon Ashley and I had a rather long (maybe 10 minutes) visit. Ashley is the ewe who had triplets 3/30. She is 11, has been across the country, lived on a couple of farms and had her share of lambs. Her fleece is the sofest, it truly rivals any I have ever felt, a rich, milk chocolate brown color. She has big yellow eyes that will tell tales that would draw even the shyest sheep in to listen. Ashley knows a lot. This afternoon she and I had a good chat. Her lamb is up and running now, the weather is pleasant, the hay plentiful and Ashley is back to her old self. She is thankful for today. When we bought Ashley we also bought Daisy and Jessie, the black ewe we lost 2/24/06. Ashley didn't think too much of Jessie and Daisy. They weren't her lambs and she couldn't care less. But over the following year those three would be found regularly grazing together in summer pastures or sleeping together at night. Daisy and Jessie had dubbed her queen mumma, and Ashley accepted the post. I find myself in awe of the miracle of Ashley's lambing this year. Jessie died 2/24/06, 5 weeks shy of lambing day. Ashley was bred to a taupe colored ram who does throw a lot of color in his babies.
But Ashley created and grew 3 jet black lambs, all with one identical white spot on top of their heads, two ram lambs and one ewe lamb. The lambs were all the spitting image of Jessie. I remember as they came into the world thinking how could this be? Not one, not two but three Jessies! We found homes for the two ram lambs and have kept the little ewe and today seemed the fitting time to name her Trinity. The unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A resurrection!
Trinity's spirit is indomitable and she will remain here through the pasture grazings and the winter storms as long as she chooses to. Easter blessing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's all good

What a difference a day makes. We let Memphis out again with her lamb last night (she'd had all day to ponder her situation!) and she strolled out through the barn, past Ashley and her lamb, Jackie, Bea and all the other lambs, stepped out into the late day sun and never looked back. It was a lovely integration! Now they are all together at last. Ashley's lamb is still a bit behind in growth and stamina but happy and alert. The other lambs are on fire! They move together about the paddock like a swirl of wind,it really is the reward. I can hear my mother reciting her favorite lines from Sara Teasdale
"Spend all you have for lovliness, buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace, count many a year of strife well lost..."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly

The "good" are Bea, Jackie and their 4 lambs., they are completely settled to life as lambs and mother ewes, nursing, feeding, sunning, running, a sight to behold. The "bad" has been Memphis who injured her udder on lambing day and we have been milking the blood out as it heals for the past 11 days, twice a day. It has almost cleared up, so this morning I let her and her ewe lamb out to join the flock. The lamb came out skipping and running....other lambs to play with, yahoo! But Memphis couldn't relax and let her play without chasing her to the point I worried she'd reinjure the udder so I put her back in the barn for the day, we'll try again tonight. Memphis is protective which is good, but perhaps a bit less would be nice. The other issue is Ashley's little lamb, the black lamb in the picture, who is still quite small. She'll be two weeks old tomorrow and she weighs almost 15# but we still are bottle feeding her with Ashley giving her a few ounces here and there. So she isn't as thrifty as the other lambs yet. Memphis spotted that weakness this morning and was not kindly to the little lamb, the "ugly". So we need to do some reconfiguring for co-joining these guys. Time will cure it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Barn guards

Bea's lambs have stolen this spot to do all their resting during the day. They take the same postion next to each other as they watch all the outside goings on! The ram lamb (rear) weighed in at 24# yesterday, he is 2 1/2 weeks old.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool!

Memphis tricked us this morning! We went down at 6 AM to feed the triplets and the barn was calm and serene. I went back at 8 to feed the mothers and Memphis was in the back of the barn, all the lambs and other mothers gathered around her, except Ashley who is in her lambing pen, and she had given birth to a ewe lamb and it was all licked off and nursing! Way to go Memphis! Although I thought she'd have twins she did deliver a 12# CVM ewe and that is just fine. The lamb is already thrifty and strong.