Friday, April 17, 2009

Finally a Ewe lamb! And some new worries...

Meet Lavender, she's a strapping ewe lamb born last night as my neighbor and I were dividing up our essential oils order and raving about the scent of Hungarian Lavender. Thankfully Stan let us know that one of the ewes was pushing. I helped to pull her out after the head was delivered. I was amazed that lamb just kept coming and coming. I haven't weighed her yet, since the neighbor was witnessing the whole event and we needed to get back the oils, but I would say she was at least 10 pounds. She was up and nursing quickly and Dot was a perfect mother. I was pretty sure Dot was only going to single, I'm just very glad it was a colored ewe lamb. We're at 3 rams, and one ewe so far.
Lavender is out of Dot is my finest fleeced Shetland Mule, and Granite, our finest fleeced BFL ram. So she is 3/4 BFL, 1/4 Shetland. I may keep her.

Devlyn's fleece is really different, it's very short and feels like suede. So maybe he was more licked off when I first found him than I thought. Sorry the photo below is dark. If you biggify the photo you can see his fleece better.
And now the worries:
Tuesday night just as I was going out to check on the sheep for the night, our neighbor called to let me know that a cougar was spotted just north of us - only about 1/2 a mile or so. Yikes! Right while we're lambing... I didn't sleep well at all. It didn't help that the same night Ozzie got sprayed by a skunk, so the whole house reeked (even though he had to stay out in the garage).
I don't know how one can keep their flock safe from cougars, right now they are penned up tight to the pole building. But once they get out on grass, it could be dangerous for them.
I just hope the cougar was moving through the area and not sticking around to raise a family.

Ozzie still stinks, I think he needs another bath.

8 comments:

  1. Yikes! That is the one animal I am completely afraid of encountering.

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  2. That is a powerful worry for you and the sheep. I, too, hope it keeps moving on to somewhere else where there are no sheep. Cute big lamb!

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  3. Yup, we've had frequent sightings of at least a pair of cougar in our area, even though MN denies that cougar take up residence here...they just "travel through" they say. Psh. Needless to say, mom has the shotgun loaded incase she hears anything (Well, that and we have two skunk that are killing ducks). Glad you got a ewe! I think it's a ram year for EVERYONE it sounds like! *sigh* Very nice looking mules though! :)

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  4. Your mule lambs are stunning, Becky! I'd love to get up and see some of your fleeces.

    The thought of a cougar would terrify me. Can you keep Ozzie outside at night? I'm sure he'd bark if a cat were nearby....

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  5. Your best bet might be to keep some dogs outside to bark at the big cat. I think most predators prefer not to risk a confrontation. And a barking dog would elimate that element of stealth involved in hunting so another location might be more appealing.

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  6. Congrats on the girl!! Do you think Devlyn's fleece will be dense and purly? It will be interesting to see how it grow out. As far as a cougar...I recently read an article on predator control; there are tapes or CD's that can be played as a deterrent. Barking dogs, human voices, etc. Perhaps something to check into.

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  7. The good thing about my new census job, is I got to touch base with several people in the immediate area. Now I found out that a cougar was also seen and tracked about 3 miles north of here about two months ago. Sounds like it's not just moving through. I was already worried enough over the coyote I saw last week. We are going to have to electrify our fences and add a strand of barbed wire on the bottom. I do think the dogs barking have been a great help so far. In addition to Ozzie, close neighbors have dogs too.

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