Monday, April 27, 2015

Lambs, lambs and more lambs!!!

Things are happening fast here at River Oaks Farm & Studio -- so fast that I don't have time to post!
In this post we'll start off with photos of all the beautiful lambs that were born in March.
Luna started our lambing off on March 13th with a set of triplets which I thought were sired by Jester, my 94% Teeswater ram.  I witnessed Jester breeding Luna and marked the calendar. Sure enough, she lambed right on schedule, two ram lambs and a ewe lamb. But as they have grown older, I noticed that their faces are narrower and not as fuzzy as Jester's lambs. Also the natural colored lamb is definitely gulmoget and there were no other colored lambs sired by Jester. Then it dawned on me that a little white BFL/Shetland ram lamb (whose mother is gulmoget) was in the next pen. Then I remembered he managed to get into Jester's breeding pen early on. So now I'm thinking these three are 3/4 BFL and 1/4 Shetland.  Oh well, they have very soft fleeces, the natural colored one is wethered and he'll have the best fleece type for raw felted fleeces.  And the ewe lamb can be bred to Jester this fall since she's unrelated - so it's not all bad news. :-)


That night, Godiva contributed a nice black ewe lamb sired by OK Acres Elvis.


The next day was my birthday and also a very special Pi day, 3-14-15. That afternoon Camille delivered twin moorit gulmoget lambs sired by Elvis. The ram lamb has tiny horns developing, and his name is Pi. The ewe lamb is named Emma, after my grandmother who also shares the 3-14 birthday.

Roxie, my 2 year-old BFL/Finn ewe had triplet ewe lambs sired by Jester on 3-19. They have the most beautiful faces!

Left to right: Roxie, Leta, Rita, and Luna in back
It seemed like forever before the rest of the ewes lambed, they were SO big, I was watching them like a hawk.
On 3-26 I had three ewes in labor all at the same time. Rita, my BFL ewe had triplet lambs sired by Jester, all were white, two rams and a ewe. She's never had white lambs before, but she has had triplets for the past two years. This year I really thought she'd have quads.

Eva, a 6 year-old 3/4 BFL ewe lost a set of moorit twins sired by Elvis, due to the placenta coming before the lamb. I had never seen this before and didn't know what to do (I have since learned that one has to go right in and pull the lamb in this case - but Eva had never lambed before and she was definitely not dilated). I had a call in to the vet, but by the time she was on her way several hours later, Eva had delivered the first of the twins and the second came shortly afterward without problems.
By then my BFL ewe, Leta was laying down pushing. I thought she would have triplets, so I immediately decided to foster one of them to Eva. I was hoping Leta would have a natural colored one, but she had all white ewe lambs (sired by Jester).  I took the last one over to Eva as soon as it was born. I rubbed Eva's placenta all over it as well as Eva's milk on its head and butt.

Unfortunately Eva didn't fall for it so I put the lamb back in with her real mom, Leta. She accepted it back for a few hours and then rejected it later that night. Darn!

So Little Orphan Annie spent the night in the house.

Gracie, a Shetland Mule, delivered an Ag grey ewe lamb that night. I was running out of jug space!

Audrey, a Finn/Shetland ewe delivered twin ewe lambs sired by Elvis in the wee hours of 3-28.

She was followed by my Wensleydale ewe, Wanda a few hours later. Another set of ewe lambs sired by the Teeswater! These two are So cute.

Minnie finished up lambing on 3-31 with a nice set of purebred Shetlands sired by Elvis. A moorit smirslet sokket ram and a moorit gulmoget ewe lamb.

So 24 lambs born, four sets of triplets, five sets of twins, and two singles. Twenty-two live lambs.
It was a ewe lamb year with 16 ewes and 6 rams. I have been supplementing the triplets who seem hungry. All the lambs are doing well and growing like weeds. They are now 4-6 weeks old and I'm about done supplementing them.

I will have several ewe lambs for sale and a few ram lambs. The 47% Teeswater lambs are all white with various amounts of brown markings on their faces, legs and hooves. Their fleeces are going to be fantastic!

The Shetland lambs were all twins and singles, and they are well-fed fat little buggers. I will posting the lambs for sale soon.  I need to cut back on my flock (now at 43 sheep) because I am selling my farm and MOVING!  Yes, the sheep and poultry are coming with me; we're building a beautiful new barn for them. ;-)