Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We love Surprise Lambs!

Remember that time Shirley gave birth and we had no idea? Charlie Brown and Linus were the product of a tryst with Lenny OR Squiggy (we'll never know). Lenny and Squiggy were our first lambs, Laverne's boys. Charlie Brown and Linus were our second batch - we didn't elasticate any of them. Looks like Charlie Brown OR Linus got to Miss Velma. Velma was the ONLY ewe of our then 11 ewes that did NOT get pregnant from Jean Claude Van Ramme. She had one more winter with a ram to get pregnant - and if she didn't... she was going to have to go. Which would have been a shame. Velma is one of our 4 friendly ewes. She likes to be petted, and has the cute white patch on her face! I like her. I spent all spring trying to get a peek at her behind to see if her udders were swelling - hoping hoping hoping she was pregnant.

Unlike Shirley, when she had surprise lambs, and we thought she was just getting fat off grass. We've been watching Velma. We watch them all. At the end of a day eating grass, they all look pregnant. So we look at them in the morning, when they have spent all night ruminating, and they are back to being svelte. Velma never looked big!! I swear it. So when Larry said to me, with a grin that only comes for the happiest moments... "come here, this is really funny" I thought he was talking about the dogs in the truck. When I asked if I needed the camera and he said "yes!" I knew it wasn't about the dogs in the truck. It had to be a lamb (but he wouldn't tell me!)

Good job Velma! he's a real cutie!

Marlow is curious and wants to have a look at the lamb, while Larry cleans out the barn stall.

Little Shaggy lamb. Born 8/18/09. No, that's not milk on his chin, he has a white spot like his mama!

Velma and little Shaggy

Just when it is time to start "processing" lambs and saying good bye to our other lambs, another little one comes along. He's so sweet.

And speaking of saying goodbye, Simon and Sparks are probably going to go soon. We originally wanted to increase our flock to 12 ewes. That meant keeping 1 ewe lamb. When Pretty Princess Penelope died, that meant keeping 2. Larry now thinks we have enough pasture and space in the barn, let's up our flock to 14. That means out of our original 16 lambs from spring, we get to keep 4 ewe lambs. We've identified them based on size and their genetics (i.e. their moms are good sheep, stout sheep, and have multiple lambs) Our lucky ladies are Betty (Laverne's, and by far the largest ewe lamb we have), Fiona (one of the smallest, but she belongs to Shirley, who had triplets this time), Angel (she's big and very sweet - and all white!) and Trouble (she's a good sized ewe lamb, and very very friendly. And she has a big mama, Marcia!) Shhhh... just don't tell the others. They get to go on to their destiny and fill lots of tummies with yummy food. Don't ask me any more about it, or I might start to cry.

SO, we also discovered a way to keep our spastic house dogs very happy. Let them hang out in the truck. Of course, they were expecting to go for a ride. They didn't get one.