Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guess what!, part 2

Besides the birth of our calf, we've had lambs born, too! Our very first lambs ever born on our baby homestead.

We have three sheep, all Katahdin ewes that a generous neighbor had bred with her rams for us. We are pretty terrible at naming our livestock so our three sheep are called The White One, The Reddish One, and The Fuzzy Brown One. The first one to deliver was the white one. Each time we've had a sheep birth my husband has discovered it, come to tell me, and I've done the pregnant lady sprint out there with the baby in one hand and the camera in the other. :)

Here's our first ever lamb- a little ram! He's big and strong and sturdy, and so, so cute! Here he is just hours after being born. Can a creature GET any cuter?!




 





He had been nibbling on my son's boot here.



His favorite place to hang out is right behind this big salt lick. When he takes naps behind it he's nearly completely hidden.



As of several days ago, this was the entirety of our sheep flock. Look at how enormous the reddish sheep's belly is! (The white sheep came to us with a funky nose- it looks like maybe she ripped it on some fencing a long time ago)




The next sheep to give birth was the fuzzy brown one. However, that birth didn't have a happy ending. She had twins, but they both died. She was a first time mom unlike the other two. Apparently it's not at all unheard of for first time sheep mamas to have a lot of problems. Our rabbits are the same way! Our first time rabbit moms lose their first litters more often than not. We always give them another chance, as we will with Miss Fuzzy Brown.

One early morning my husband discovered she had given birth (we didn't know exactly when they were due). One twin was already dead, the other was alive but teeny tiny and super weak. She wouldn't stand up to nurse- she never did stand up. We helped guide her face to her mom's udder, and she seemed to drink a few times. But by the afternoon she was too weak to latch on anymore so we milked her mama so we could bottle feed the lamb. She kinda drank a little, but then stopped and by evening she was fading away fast. We kept up trying to bottle feed her, but she died that night.

At one point during the day my 7 yr old said "hey, maybe we should name the lamb Mary". Our 5 yr old then immediately said, "or Mesopotamia!" which gave me a good laugh. Unfortunately I only snapped one picture of little Mesopotamia all day long. She was just 3 pounds and even though the ram lamb was only a couple days older than her, she wasn't any taller than just his legs! She is the tiny little brown & white thing lying in the straw in the almost-middle of this picture. Poor tiny little Mesopotamia.






And then, only a few hours ago, our third ewe gave birth! I had actually loaded and saved all the above pictures in my drafts yesterday, but had to add these just now. :) The reddish sheep had gotten sooo wide, we assumed she was carrying twins. And aren't they cute! One looks just like a mini-mom, she's a girl. The other is a neat black and white color and is a ram. They were already up, walking and enthusiastically nursing before they'd dried off or the mama had delivered the placenta! And they're huge compared to weak little Mesopotamia. They seem like good, strong, healthy lambs.









And now here is the entirely of our sheep flock. ;)


 


And here is a hilarious picture of our very goofy sheep. Several days ago I found her just wandering around with all this hay on her head just like a wig. Too bad the photo's not a little clearer, she wouldn't hold still! But her wig sure gave me a good laugh.




6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness you have sheep!! I hope to get some just as soon as we have some pasture areas fenced out and a shelter for them. Those little lambs are soo cute! Sorry to hear they all didn't make it. It happens all to often- it's heartbreaking every time. We've lost several kids with our goats. I'm sure it's because they got to cold. All the births later in the season or if we're there soon after and get everyone dry and going are ok. It's those cold winter nights.
    But yea! you have sheep and all those cute lambs to cuddle. Are you going to shear them to process the wool for yourselves?
    And while I'm here re:the pig pens: they only look nice right now cause the ground is frozen. lol Once the thaw comes oh boy- like you said it gets churned up a foot down. I've found only way to minimize/avoid it is to give them a quite large pasture area preferably with trees (saplings will be rooted up in no time larger trees might make it if the pigs don't decide to ring them). Partial concrete or wood slats might help keep the bedding area cleaner. We hope to give them (our sow and boar) a large pasture come spring before the mud is too horrible. We have an area with invasive not very tasty blackberries - how handy would it be to have the pigs get rid of them for us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those lambs are so cute! I'm so glad they are all doing so well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww! That white lambie is so cute! It looks like he is smiling in some of the pics there! LOL! I am sorry about your losses. That is a part of it isn't it?

    I love the wig picture so much! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those are some super cute lambs! Sorry to hear that Fuzzy Brown lost her babies. Hope next time has a better outcome. I love the straw wig! LOL Farm life is exciting!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your blog is lovely, and I'm happy to have discovered it! Oh, that first lamb...precious. The others are nice, too, but the first photo in that post is a blue ribbon for the heart. Am sorry to read about poor Mesopotamia, but thankful that your children are learning valuable lessons that can only be taught by daily living in the natural world. Keep up the wonderful work you do. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. mossgrownstone, we need sooo much fencing work, too. We've got the sheep and the cow/calf in a couple nice stalls that I'm grateful our land came with... but no fenced pasture to move them to yet. Fence work is such a big project isn't it. The Katahdin breed sheep are actually meat sheep, they don't grow (much) wool and don't require sheering. I was told our white one still looks wooly because she's young and didn't shed all her wool yet (?) or something like that. Since I feel like the only woman that doesn't knit on the planet :p , I'm fine with not having to go through the sheering process. :) And about the pigs- I laughed out loud when I read your comment because I realized that the only photos I've chosen to post of our pigs is when the ground was frozen! Duh, I just hadn't thought about that. :p Their bedding area is on a raised wooden bed, but they drag so much mud on their bodies to it that it just won't stay clean.

    Kris, thanks!

    GracefulMommy, I'm glad you appreciated the silly "wig" as much as I did.

    Danielle, thanks! Farm life is never dull, that's for sure.

    Deelight, I'm happy you found me and left a comment. :) I know that first photo is super cute, but just wait! lol I am going to get some uber cute pics of the others today. I didn't want to get up close and take a bunch of photos the other day because the mama hadn't even finished her labor yet, and the babies were still just finding the udder. I didn't want to intrude too much. :)

    I am so grateful to be raising our children out here. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete