21 had her baby the other day while we turned our backs.
He is another almost all white lamb, the second one this season to look this way.
He has the most unique markings on his face. It looks like he has a mustache and that someone has painted horns between his eyes and ears.
At the right angle he reminds me of a Dias de Los Muertos skull.
It will be very interesting to see what the markings look like after his wool comes in.
The other day while we were both at work Bixler's Girlfriend gave birth to triplets. She must feel so much.... lighter.
Bixler's Girlfriend is one of our best mothers, often helping her sister Sweet Pea tend to her lambs. At first when we found her with three babies we thought perhaps she stole from another mother. After investigation we found that no one else had lambed, confirming she really did have triplets. Based on her mothering history I am really not concerned that she will be able to juggle three different lambs. So far, she has not proven me wrong and has been taking great care of getting all three off to a good start.
The group had two males and one female.
It is not easy to get all of them in one shot. Below, they are just a few hours old, just learning how to walk.
The look of a happy lamb.
We will need to keep a close eye on the growth of the lambs for a few days. Bixler's Girlfriend will need extra calories in order to support the increased milk production needed to feed triplets. If one of the lambs is not growing at the same rate as the other two we will need to decide which lamb to pull off and start bottle feeding. It would seem that pulling the smallest lamb off would be best, but we would prefer to pull off the largest lamb. A small, weak lamb would benefit more from on demand nursing with the mother, while a larger, strong lamb can better handle the time between bottle feedings. Hopefully we will not need to get out the bottles this year.
Who doesn't love hour old baby lambs?
Early Sunday I went to the barn for morning checks to find a baby lamb outside the main sheep pen. He had rolled out under the gate and was separated from his mother. Inside the large pen was an upset mother and a twin lamb.
19 (daughter of Sweet Pea) had birthed the lambs sometime in the early hours of the morning and luckily had strong mothering instincts. By the time I got out there she had the lambs cleaned, dried off, and nursed. This is 19's first lambing season and she has produced possibly the cutest lamb I have ever seen.
I can not get enough of this little female lamb who is more white than black. Her brother is what we have traditionally seen for color. I love how her white comes down her ears and across her face almost to her nose. I think she looks like a Holstein calf.
Bixler, our dog, is always a little meticulous with the lambs and wants to make sure they are as clean as possible. Here you can see a little more of the white markings on the female's chin.
Our 2016 has officially started. I can only hope the rest goes as smoothly.
Lambing 2016 is only 4 days away! After the freezing cold lambing season of last year, we made the decision to turn our buck out later and have March lambs. Based on breeding dates, is March 11th, though it could start sooner. We have spent the last few days getting the barn ready for the impending Lambegedon.
Due March 11th are Downy, Bossy, Bixler's Girlfriend, 11, 22, 21, and 19.
Below on the left is 21, this will be her first time lambing, she is really starting to fill out in her stomach area. To the right is Blerta, she is due March 16th.
Jesse used the nice warm weather this past Sunday to clean out an area in the barn where we will build lambing pens.
I spend my twilight hours evaluating the rear ends of the girls, might they lamb tonight, or are there a few days yet?
I have also upgraded my technology. Last year I put a poor farmer's Closed Circuit TV in our barn, (it's a baby monitor I bought at Walmart). This year I purchased a newer model that has two cameras and improved visibility (I also have the option to play lullaby's to the sheep). Now all we have to do is wait for nature......
My seed orders arrived the other day, making it one of the most exciting days of 2016 so far! Here they are organized by type. I ordered 14 different varieties of tomatoes, this might be a problem.
Every spring our sheep are in need of a trimming. This year was no exception.
Bossy is looking huge, she probably has 4-5 inches of wool on her.
The sheep start looking straggly and a mess as some of the wool begins to be pulled out.
In the past we have done the shearing ourselves. But it is time consuming, and to be honest we are not quite the best at it. This year we decided to hire a local shearer, what would have taken us a weekend of work took him about two hours. It was great to have a professional come as he was willing to help teach Jesse how to shear quickly and even fixed our trimmers.
I was at my day job when the shearing occurred so I only have before and after pictures, no action shots.
This is Sweet Pea, looking a little ragged.
Mini Mumps, feeling good after her haircut. The sheep appear so much smaller after their giant coats are taken off.
Bixler's Girlfriend enjoying the wind on her skin.
Mid-May the pasture and weather was ready for us to turn out the sheep. We typically wait until at least May to turn the sheep out to pasture. We like to ensure that the vegetation has had time to grow enough to take the pressure of cabin fevered sheep.
This is the first pasture we opened to the sheep. The grass and clover is long and ready to be trimmed. This is one half of the pasture.
The older sheep were the first out the door, they knew what was coming and couldn't wait.
Bixler's Girlfriend leading the pack out the alley.
The sheep barely made it out the alley before they started indulging in the sweet new grass.
Then my favorite part of spring started happening. Something about being out for the first time makes the sheep so excited, they can't contain their excitement and start running like crazy! It is a site to behold, I love watching their pure joy.
After running hard it was time to get back to eating.
It is going to be a great spring and early summer.
It has been a long, cold winter and I am excited for spring and summer. However, I can't help but feel a little longing for fresh applesauce the moment I see the apple trees bloom. But you know, some things are worth the wait.
When new babies arrive there is always a lack of sleep. Two years ago my little one was born and some days I would wake up planning my nap for that day.
The past few years with lambing have been very similar to having a newborn human. I would wake up every two hours, walk out of the barn, shine a flashlight on all the sheep and either a) finding nothing and drag myself back to bed OR b) see feet/a lamb and go running to the house to wake Jesse.
This year I had a different plan of attack.
The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of