Archive for April, 2011

More lambs!

April 10, 2011

Here’s a photo of the lamb born yesterday afternoon to Katherine:

I know, I know,it’s not a good photo.  I’ll take another later, but I’m kind of pressed for time right now!

AND, this morning I came out to find that Jacqueline Lasseau had her twins, a ram lamb with a black nose and a ewe lamb.  I had suspected she was ready last night so I penned her in.

Two more to go…and when I went out to check them and give baby his milk, I saw that Turtle was off by herself and way hollowed out, so she’s penned. I’ll check her in a half hour and see what’s up.  It might be immanent, or it might take most of the day.  But I believe she will lamb sometime today.  And after that, it’s only Mimi left.

Here’s a photo of Jacqueline’s new lambs:

I would estimate that they are about 3 hours old.


More lambs

April 9, 2011

Since last I wrote, Allison had a single ewe lamb:

And, Portia had a single Jacob/Coopworth cross ewe lamb:

Deidre had twins:

And just a couple of hours ago, Katherine had a single ewe lamb. I’ll get a photo of her later.

Deirdre has decided she doesn’t like her ram lamb. He is truly the ugliest jacob I’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t seem a good enough reason to reject him.  She’s not beating on him, seems intent on his welfare; just doesn’t want him drinking.  She is very protective of her ewe lamb, who always sleeps under her chin. The little ram lamb sleeps on the other side of the pen and is receiving a bottle from his new mom, me, until Monday, when he is going to a new home, bottle and milk replacer with him.

Three more to go.

Busy time…

April 5, 2011

Sunday morning I went out to find Lydia Coopworth with twins, have I mentioned this already?  Don’t think so…Lydia was bred to an American Wensleydale, and produced two large lambs, a white ewe and a black ram.  Here they are a couple of days old:

Nothing else seemed to be happening, so I went off to church, came home,checked everyone, still nothing happening, so I went off to Sugar River Spinners.  There was a good group. We knit and spun and ate (too much eating, actually) and laughed and compared notes on lambs,those of us who have sheep. Here’s some photos:

That’s Vicky, Candy and Chris knitting and spinning away.

Pat, Sue, and Ann, ditto.

Shari, Cindy, Judy, and Norma…having a deep conversation about something or another.

All was quiet until dinner time, when it looked like Dorcas was going into labor. She took her sweet time,and produced a lovely single ewe lamb around 9:30 p.m.  Here is thelamb with mama this morning:

Monday morning, Benjie Jacob, who is the loudest laborer of all was bawling her head off just at dawn. I went out there and she was walking around trying to find her babies, (which weren’t out yet!).  She wouldn’t move into the shed, and continued talking up a storm, and finally gave birth to twins. THEN, by picking up the twins, I was able to lead her into a nice dry pen.  She talks to them constantly, never shutting up unless she’s sleeping.  Here’s the twins this morning:

Nothing last night, but this morning, they all started calling me just at dawn, and were outside the shed, usually a pretty good indicator that something’s going on IN the shed.  And there was something going on. Portia Coopworth had had a little black jacob cross ewe lamb a couple of hours before, I’d guess, from the fact that she was pretty dried off, and Allison Jacob had a little ewe lamb about 30 seconds before I got there, I would estimate. Photos of them tomorrow or later today…Couldn’t get them in the semi-dark of this gloomy morning.

I ear tagged a few and let them out of pens to make room for the newbies.  And I went to band the tails of the wensleyworths (nice new word!) but can’t find the bands.  Hopefully, the grain store has some and I’ll get them when I go do my marketing. Meanwhile, Deirdre is acting a little strange, humming at lambs that aren’t hers.  Perhaps she’s in labor now as we speak.  I’ll check shortly, then head out to the grain store.  Six ewes left to go.

This seems to be the year of the single ewe lambs, which is fine with me!  Hopefully, the other six won’t all produce single ram lambs!  Or ram twins!

More lambs…

April 3, 2011

Well, for the last two mornings, I’ve come out to find lambs. Yesterday morning, Caroline Jacob presented me with a cute little ewe lamb.

The photo is a little dark, but that’s the way it was.

This morning, Lydia Coopworth was busily tending to her twins when I got out there to feed the animals.  She had a 13 lb. black ram lamb and an 11 pound white ewe lamb, sired by Zeus Wensleydale, who lives with a friend.

Brunhilde is all yellow: someone must have pooped in the amniotic fluid.  For all I know,Siegried is, too, but since he’s black, it doesn’t show. Both have lovely fleeces. His is very lustrous; can’t tell about hers with that yellow tinge!  Both seem fine.

And today, I also let out of the lambing pen, Octavia Coopworth and her twin coopworth/jacob crosses, Hansel and Gretel. They are all happy to be out in the sun.

They’re feeling a little low,having been stabbed in the ear for tags and having a rubber band put around their tails.  But they seem to be enjoying life.

Meanwhile, the rams are looking on. Are they wondering which lambs are theirs?  The only ones out belong to Isaiah (Ike–don’t do nicknames!), the guy on the left.

I’m not really sure they care at all whose is whose!  Mostly, I’ll bet,they’re sniffing to see if any of them are hot to trot.  There are two possibilities: the little yearling and the coopworth who didn’t settle. But they aren’t going to be able to do anything about it!

Okay, no one else looks to be in labor, so I need to go get into church clothes and head off to Woodstock to church. This afternoon is spinning, so I’ll be home to check on everyone and if nothing’s happening, I’ll be off to spinning. Busy day!

Still waiting…

April 1, 2011

It seems that the ewes are having a grand time crossing their legs and refusing to have their lambs, mostly to make me crazy.  But I wait…and wait…and wait…

Meanwhile, Wednesday night, our neighbors were boiling and we were invited to stop in.  The boys showed me one of their new bunch of baby rabbits.

I think they said they had two litters, one with six, one with five.  Then, we went out to their boiling area, which is part of a machine shed.  The grandfather of the boys was there, for it was his birthday.  Here he is supervising the boil:

You can see by the decorations on the shelf above the boiler and the bottle in the foreground, which is actually being held by the boys’ father, Birthday boy’s son, that a lot of celebrating is going on, typical of syrup boiling around here.

Thursday night we went to the Hop to see Trio Mediaeval, a three voice women’s group who sings a cappela, ancient music and Norwegian folksongs. They did a Ladymass from Worcester Cathedral, the parts of which were discovered when they unpacked some stuff wrapped in old sheet music from before the dissolution of monasteries in England, when much music and art was destroyed, or taken into the royal coffers, if it was worth something. I loved the  mass setting and their singing. The Norwegian stuff was fine, but I’m not all that into folk music.

Tomorrow morning there is a funeral of the oldest active parishioner in our parish. Betty was 93, I think. She was at church two Sundays ago, then fell ill, missed the following Sunday, and died the Tuesday thereafter.  Until then, she was active and a delight.  We will all miss her.  I remember our first day there, when she greeted us, a fine old aristocratic seeming lady with the voice and accent of private schools.  When she heard our last name, she wanted to know if we were related to Paul Berlenbach, the boxer, whom her mother just loved.  This, believe me, is a very unusual comment from an old church lady!  She was delighted to find out that we were indeed related, though distantly.  (John’s grandfather’s first cousin, I believe.)

Since Wednesday, they’ve been predicting a big snow storm for us up here, with some estimates at 17 inches.  Even the conservative estimates were for 10 inches, then down to 5 inches. Well, I’m happy to say that even though it has snowed all day, and is still, in fact, snowing, wehave gotten maybe 2 inches, and it seems to be melting away quite quickly.  I went out to give the sheep some hay at 4:30 and found what looked like deer tracks in the driveway right in front of the house.  Thlose deer must be very hungry to get this close.  I guess it could also have been sheep tracks; one could have jumped the fence and be wandering around…not very likely, though.  I will count them when I go out later to check them.

I expect that as I’m getting ready to go to the funeral tomorrow, three of them will all go into labor at once, and I’ll end up staying home! Hopefully not.