Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lambing is just weeks away

Natural colored BFL ewes pregnant Rhyn on left, and her daughters Rhisa and Rhaya
I'm nervous about lambing in March.  Last October when Harwell jumped the fence I didn't care for the idea all that much and now it's time to pay the piper.  The weather this past week was absolutely wonderful, I hope we get more like that in March.

I don't want to jinx myself by saying this, but Rhyn is looking like she might have multiples this year.  That would be a first for us and her.  We've only had single BFL lambs, but the good news is that they have all thrived.  Rhyn is due on March 10th and is already doing that grunting kind of breathing that pregnant ewes do when they get close to lambing.  Notice that cute little Pepper in the back on the left.  I love her little pink nose!  And that's Freya lounging on the right in the back.  The Shetlands won't lamb until April.  Except for Hattie who is due on March 12 with BFL sired lambs.  She was the one cycling when Harwell jumped the fence to get in with the Shetland ewes and wound up hanging by one foot.  Oh that was scary!

It's obvious that we won't have shearing done before the BFL lambing this year.  So I just hope the ewes are in good condition under all that wool. I've been supplementing our low quality hay with corn and alfalfa pellets, but I'm hoping to get some good quality alfalfa or orchard grass hay soon.

I've already got the barn cam set up.  I did that when I put all the sheep together (rams and ewes).  I had to make sure our little Shetland ram Hansel didn't get killed by Harwell who is at least three times his size.  Reuniting the whole flock went fairly smooth because the rams were interested in the new ewes so they didn't concentrate on trying to kill one another.  I left them that way about two weeks and then separated the boys because they sure don't need to compete with the pregnant ewes for the corn and alfalfa pellets.

I took this photo of the boys out the window yesterday afternoon. Shetland ram Hansel is in the coat on the left and Pokey the Dorset cross, Socks the Shetland Mule and Harwell the BFL ram are on the right. Notice how low that hog panel is. Harwell could jump it easily and head back over to the ewe pen, but thankfully they have all stayed inside.

So the days of checking the barn cam and checking bags, comparing notes to last year's bag sizes and lambing dates are back. It's really kind of exciting!  And the chicks are doing fine outside with the mother hen.

4 comments:

  1. I hope that lambing goes smoothly for you and your girls, Becky! I love how you look forward to it. I still ~ even after all these years ~ DREAD lambing! Can you imagine what I would be like if I'd ever actually had anything go wrong???

    :-)

    Do you know if you'll be able to make the MSSBA retreat, 3/5? It's going to be SO much fun having that big, Amish house to ourselves...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not sure about the retreat yet Nancy. I would love to go if I could car pool with someone...and if the weather is good for driving. And hopefully no lambs would come early!
    Tomorrow at our weekly art group, I'm going to share what I learned from SINCO's class on needlefelting that large German Shepherd. That might be a fun thing for people to do at the retreat too. SINCO's book, "Fleece Dog" has directions for all kinds of breeds of dogs. I want to make a Great Pyrenees out of Shachah's wool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was hoping that maybe Gail or Rayna would come! I haven't heard from either of them. Karen Byron is another one I would love to see again...

    I'd love to see that book. Would you be willing to bring it along?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our art group didn't get to meet on Monday due to all the snow (12+"), so hopefully we can try making dogs on the 28th. I haven't heard from anyone either Nancy. But if I find someone to ride with and I make it to the retreat, I will surely bring the book along. Gotta watch the gas prices and the ewes. Rhyn's bag is filling in, I hope she lasts another two weeks!

    ReplyDelete