Lambing is getting closer all the time. The girls are getting bigger every day and I'm so anxious for the first lambs to arrive.
I've started getting very nervous about my feeding program. Did I feed too much, too little? Hopefully the lambs won't be too large for the ewes to deliver. I'm putting in an order to Premier today for lambing supplements and a lamb puller just in case we need them this year.
In the photo below you can see old Cocoa is filling out and I believe the big belly next to her is Delia, a Shetland Mule born in 2007.
After finding Hannah cast a couple weeks ago, I've been nervous every morning when I go out to the barn. To solve that problem I invested in a wireless closed circuit TV system for the barn. It arrived yesterday and it's really great! I'm watching the barn channel right now. We need to figure out where to put the camera to get the best view of the whole barn, but already I can hear what's going on out there as well as see 3/4 of the pen inside the barn. Yes, if anyone lambs outside I won't know about it, but in this weather, the girls stay inside most of the time.
I can watch the barn channel all day and all night long if I want. The biggest surprise to me yesterday was that I am the highlight of their day. They laid around all afternoon like beached whales, chewing their cud and waiting for the shepherdess to bring more hay.
I couldn't wait for darkness to come yesterday so I could see how the infa-red night vision worked. It's fabulous. With a range of 45 feet, I can see what's happening in the dark in my 30 x 40 pole building. They seemed to be up and nibbling all night. However at 5 a.m. they were all pretty sacked out.
If you're wondering how much a system like this costs, it was only $120. I searched all over and wound up getting it from WalMart.com of all places. The price is not bad for peace of mind and saving myself many midnight trips to the barn. If I put the camera in the right spot, the reception is way better than the baby monitor I used last year.
Okay, now for some pregnant ewe photos! Below is Jemma, she may be carrying only one in there. Bred to Sheltering Pines Bombarde, I'm hoping for a polled grey katmoget ram lamb from her.
I'm thinking this is little Dot, our June Shetland Mule lamb. The mule lambs are like peas in a pod and I have to see them together or check their tags to know who is who. I really didn't want to expose her to a ram, but we had no extra pens, so she was exposed to the gulmoget Shetland ram lamb. Should be interesting to see what she produces.
And this is our beautiful Rhyn, she's a coming yearling and definitely pregnant. The BFLs have such long bodies, perfect for carrying multiple lambs. She was exposed briefly to Dougal a white BFL ram, but she would have delivered by now if he bred her. So I'm very sure Granite, a natural colored BFL ram lamb is the sire of her lamb(s). And in the that case, her lamb(s) will be natural colored. :-)
This is Lanora and one of the Shetland Mules. Not the most flattering photo, but you can see the size difference in the two year old purebred versus the coming yearling Shetland/BFL cross.
By far the biggest ewes in our flock are Mabeline (above) and Hattie (not pictured here, but she is in the first photo in this post, the black ewe in front). They are wide and low. I'm anxious (and nervous!) to see if we'll get our first set of triplets this year. Mabeline is bred to Granite, so she should have some nice crosses for us. Hattie is bred to Windswept Boggart and is my hope for some of the elusive dark brown lambs.