Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Longest Lambing Season

Sometimes lambing season is fast and furious, starting and ending within five days.

In those years, we're greeted with newborn baas every morning.

This year, we decided to make life easy on ourselves and only bred seven ewes.

Lambing season is going on and on and on.

The first lambs, twins, arrived March 11, to a first-time mom.

That set us into "lamb watch" mode.

We pasture our sheep, letting them graze and roam up until they give birth. Once they give birth, we bring them into the barn. It allows us to keep an eye on them for a bit--and makes the lambs easier to catch when it's time for vaccinations and other procedures.

Our "lamb watch" mode stretched on for days, and then a week, until finally on March 22, our Big Red Ewe delivered boys.

Surely the others would follow.

But again days went by until the evening of March 26.

Our Dilute Spotted Ewe gave birth to Katahdin/Dorper triplets that were ready to take on the world.

I expected to awake on Easter Sunday to lambs galore. Four ewes were still pregnant, so that could mean 7, 8, 9 or 10 lambs.

Easter Sunday morning was glorious, with sun and bird song and blooming daffodils--but no lambs.

When we return from Easter festivities on Sunday evening, we expected to be sorting lambs in the dark, but no new lambs.

A window in my home office gives me a panoramic view of the sheep pasture. I spend hours watching them graze, looking for that one ewe that's isolating herself.

I saw one lying down yesterday, for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. I went outside to investigate, only to discover it was Skinny Non-Pregnant Ewe taking an afternoon nap.

Today, in late afternoon, the sheep ambled to the barn to check for hay. It was there I found Neck Roll Ewe giving birth to twins.

It's now Day 20 of lambing season--and we have three ewes, Blood Spot Ewe, Tan Ewe and White Ewe, yet to lamb. A storm is brewing this evening. Maybe, just maybe?

But probably not.

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