Friday, March 04, 2011

Yikes!

My apologies to all the non-sheep folks out there, but this photo shows what's got me worried these days...

This is Rhyn, I had her as being due on March 10th (147 days after seeing her get bred).  But now I checked my little lambing calculator book and it says she'd be due on the 8th.  The good news is temps should be above zero next week and I'm not worried about the snowstorm in the forecast, we have plenty of shelter from the snow.

Rhyn has a history of not wanting her babies to nurse for the first 12 hours or so after lambing.  Last year the combination of a reluctant ewe and a lamb who stubbornly refused to be hooked up to the faucet had me totally exasperated.  But once she's ready and baby figures things out, Rhyn is an excellent mother and I forget about all the hassle she causes me.  This year I might just resign myself to supplementing the lamb(s) until she's ready to let them nurse.  But this is the biggest bag I've seen on her yet, so she may not be so reluctant this year.

On a lighter note, my federal taxes are filed now.  Yay! The kitchen table is finally cleared and I can finish framing my pasture series pieces. 

Next week I start in on the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep & Wool Festival booklet. Mark your calendars for May 7-8 and plan to attend the festival if you're in the area!  I'll have a booth there -- hopefully my Shetlands will be done lambing by then. :-)

8 comments:

  1. looks like you got triplets in there!! None of my girls look that big and twinned last year big 12-14 pound lambs! can't wait to see what you get!

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  2. We've never had triplets here. And we've never even had twins in the BFLs, that's why I'm really on pins and needles. Plus with the colder temps than I'm used to lambing in...
    Heather Landin's idea to use a disposable diaper as a lamb coat is brilliant! I think I'll be visiting the baby aisle soon.

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  3. Another lamb coat idea is to go to your local Good Will or resale shop and buy 2T or 3T sweatshirts and cut off the arms. I've used them for a few years now and they have the advantage of being reusable, very eco-friendly.
    Regarding the ewe.......Holy ginormous ewe!!! Not sure what's going on this year, but my ewes are looking wider than usual here too. Keep us posted Becky.

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  4. Thanks for the reminder Kelly. I've used the sleeves cut from adult sweatshirts in the past for yearling Shetlands after shearing.

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  5. Having gone through this several times...can I say? just hang tough. Take out a couple bottles a day if you have to but MOST of the time you CAN get through the potential "not me, not now" mamas with just a bit of time. With a couple of really difficult mamas I have had years that I have had to do a couple of support bottles but this is the first year I have actually had to claim the lambs to keep them alive. Hang in there...I think she can do it.

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  6. Wow, she is enormous! What a great shot though. I love good photographs of pregnant ewes. They hold such promise. I can't wait until next year when I hope I can have some lambs again. I'll sure miss them this spring.

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  7. I was thinking that she didn't have a very big udder but I'm used to Alice's "Holstein" udder! Good luck with the lambing! I wish you mostly ewe lambs and healthy ewes & babies...

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  8. Thanks for the advice Cynthia. The first time BFL mamas have been more challenging than any Shetlands. Lambing is when I question if I should be raising BFLs. But so far they have all come around to accept their lambs and are excellent mothers - knocking on wood here! I've got a first time 3 year old due any time along with Rhyn. Hopefully all will go smoothly with her.

    Claire, I agree with you, as scary as lambing can be, it is also such a promising time. Looking forward to following your adventures in Canada and the winery. How exciting and promising!

    Nancy, the BFLs' bags are different than the Shetland bags. My Shetland girls get those big "Holstein" bags too, although we've never had triplets born here. But the BFL bags are nice and high and tight. Very nice udders on the BFLs.

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