Despite the full moon, there were no lambs born yesterday. The ewes spent most of the day in the pasture in a seemingly meditative state soaking up the sun, and of course eating… there’s a lot of eating going on.
We moved three groups of lambs and their mamas out to the nursery paddock, where they enjoyed getting to know their older cousins, running, jumping and exploring.
lack of cooperation
inactivity on the ewe’s part, gave us the opportunity to clean out the barn, move some things around and set up additonal lambing jugs. So in answer to Boo’s Mom’s
question yesterday, here’s a little more about jugs. A lambing jug is a small pen where the ewe and lambs are moved shortly after birth. Unless there is a problem or really bad weather, we usually wait until after the lambs are up and have eaten. This short confinement (usually two or three days) promotes bonding and gives us the opportunity to watch for any problems the ewe or lamb may experience in those first few days. After using old wooden pallets and assorted other recycled items, we have slowly invested in this system of welded wire panels and connector hinges. They are very sturdy and easy to climb in and out of. They allow us to use our barn space more efficiently as they can be quickly put up, taken down, moved or reconfigured..
Hebe, Patience and their twins are the only occupants at the moment. They’re getting lonely… come on girls, let’s get moving.
The first lambs have arrived!! Yesterday, on the late afternoon barn check, Hazel, one of our border leicester cross ewes, was in the corral pawing a little. The NOISY guineas, a confusion of them, arrived on the scene and Hazel promptly exited into the field with the rest of the ewes and down over the hill. Lena and I watched her a little and decided to let her alone and hopefully she would come back into the barn or corral. On the next check, after supper, we found all of the ewes in the barn except, of course, Hazel. Down over the hill – this hill which the picture does no justice, you can barely see the fence down at the very bottom along the tree line– was Hazel with two little lambs. A very cold east wind was whipping across the hill , so Lena headed to the fiber room for towels – I think she ran all the way – and I proceeded down the hill and found two healthy ram lambs. It took us a while to convince Hazel to consistently follow us UP the hill, but when she saw the barn, it was much easier. We got them weighed and settled into the jug and continued on our original destination 45 minutes late, choir practice. We later put on their coats to keep them toasty after their trip up the windy hill. This morning they looked very contented and warm.
Lambing has been going fast and furious. We are so thankful that Jonathan built the little lambing jug in the corner despite our protests. It has come in very handy!
You know the old song… “Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, five jugs full!”