Catching up and the start of Lambing season

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost a year since we posted last.  Things have been pretty busy around here on the little farm.  We finished up last year by only selling two of our ewe lambs here locally.  Our little flock expanded some to accommodate the three lambs that stayed with us.

Our ewe lamb who was know as Gray in our 2015 lamb pics stayed with us and is now know as RKR Athena.  The two ram lambs stayed at this point also.  Ferdinand became RKR Ares and Little Man became RKR Apollo.  We named them all with letters that started with A to designate that they were all born our first year of lambing.

We finished the summer by taking our son to Idaho to start college.  We lost a big helper there! He is loving it though and is doing very well.  One project we tackled on the farm last fall was to add steps down from our barn to the sheep shed.  There was a fairly steep slope there and I bit the dust several times when we had rain or snow.  Now we are safe and they have worked out great!

 Bailey and our new German Shepherd puppy, Luna, observing our newly minted steps.

Bailey and our new German Shepherd puppy, Luna, observing our newly minted steps.

We also added a new hay shelter to the farm to accommodate our need for more hay this year. We ran out last year and had to supplement mid stream.  We thought with two shelters we would be fine.  Ha - not so much.  We lost half of one hay shelter to the rams.  They like to hang out there when we tossed them out of the paddocks to have room for mamas and babies.  We ended up having to bring in more hay anyway.

Now that is another story.  We split the rams ups with two ewes each, and sent Gilbert and Athena over to the farm where our other two ewe lambs went to live in the summer.  All went well with the breeding and it came time to ultrasound them to verify pregnancies.  We had checked two ewes so far and all was going well, both pregnant when Troy came around the corner with our son.  Troy was pale as a ghost and obviously in a lot of pain.  He had gone to catch one of the ewes and lost his footing in the muddy paddock and relaxed his arm. Unfortunately, he did not get it out of the way of the running ewe fast enough and she blew right past him hitting his arm, rupturing his bicep tendon at the elbow.  Ugh!  This happened on our 25th wedding anniversary, too!  He ended up having  to have surgery to reattach it on December 30th and he has been in recovery ever since.  

We survived January and toward the end of February we sheared the sheep.  Pete Hoffman of Top Knot shearing came down again and took care of the shearing for us.  He also trimmed all the hooves as Troy was unable to do that with his bum arm.  The big winner this year for heaviest fleece was Sigrid.  15 pounds!  

But I know the thing you want to hear about the most is the new lambs for this year.  Our lambing started with Elsa this year.  She was bred to Gunter, one of our colored rams.  Now, white is the dominant color for these sheep, and you must have two recessive colored genes to make a colored lamb.  I knew Elsa was a color carrier, so I knew we had a 50/50 chance of getting a colored lamb.  But I also knew she was carrying twins, so I though we would get at least one white if not two.  Ha, no such luck.  Both lambs were colored!  Two black ewe lambs were born Saturday, March 26th.

 Just a few minutes after the second ewe was born.  The one standing we are calling Silvertop and the new baby is called Silvertip.  

Just a few minutes after the second ewe was born.  The one standing we are calling Silvertop and the new baby is called Silvertip.  

 Here is a better picture of the second baby.  You can see why we call her Silvertip.  :-) 

Here is a better picture of the second baby.  You can see why we call her Silvertip.  :-) 

There were no problems with the delivery and all seemed to be going well.  We left the jackets on until they were nice and dry.  Elsa was doing well with them both until the third morning.  She then decided that she didn't want little Silvertip to nurse from her.  Sigh.  We are now bottle feeding her, but we are using Elsa as the bottle!  We go and halter her up multiple times a day and let the baby nurse.  After several days I did notice that the baby had a sharp spot on tooth; Elsa's udder did not show any signs of being abused, but I softened the sharp spot anyway to see if it would help.  No such luck.  We left Elsa and her girls in a stall for about a week.  She accepts that the baby is hers, but she still will not feed it without intervention.  But, the baby is doing well, so, so far so good.  

Elsa decided to deliver her first twin about 30 minutes before my son was to fly back to school at the end of his spring break.  Luckily my Uncle was able to take him to the airport as we had our hands full!  :-)  We got Elsa and her two girls all settled into the jug and took a breather.  Easter was the next day so we were busy prepping for Easter dinner and family.

At 1:30am Easter morning, Sigrid decided it was time to deliver her twins.  Sigrid was bred to our white ram Ibsen.  Now I wasn't sure if he carried the colored gene.  So I was expecting two white lambs as that is what he threw last year.  Again I was taken by surprise!  A black ewe lamb and a white ram lamb.  So the question of whether of not Ibsen carries the colored gene was answered.  Yup, he does.  

So that is where we are on this years lambing season.  We are closely watching our ewe Astrid today, she is showing signs that she could lamb at any time.  Her ultrasound showed she had triplets!  She was bred to Gunter, so no surprises here, they will all be black.  

I will try and keep up better with all the fun with the new lambs.  Let us know if you are interested in added a great new addition to your farm!