Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All is revealed

(assembly line shearing!)

I wanted to have a clever post title that included the words naked girls, but was afraid I would end up with some unwanted visitors here ... so I refrained.  In a manner of speaking, that is just what my girls look like right now.  The shearers arrived here early yesterday morning and got right to work getting that years worth of fleece off.  It was quite cold in the morning and we even had a dusting of snow on the ground, but the sheep didn't seem to mind at all.  That was a big relief to me because I'd been awake since before daylight worrying that the sheep might be all shivery and pitiful after being sheared.  Instead they  seemed completely comfortable and they even chose to go outside and graze a little on our nonexistent grass.

So, there were some important questions answered yesterday morning.  I know I mentioned before that Brynn (the Wensleydale ram) was not wearing a marking harness, so my only hope to know whether he was working was to see him actually breeding a ewe.  I only saw that one time in the two and a half weeks he was here.  While I was sorting through the ewe flock and getting ready to put them in with him, I put Gabby in to keep him company and he bred her several times, right then and there.  After that, I saw no activity from him.  Nothing.  Well, apparently he prefers the privacy that night time offers because it appears that all the ewes I gave him got bred.  (There's even a possibility that he bred a few I didn't give him.  The last night he was here, he managed to get himself into the pen where the other ewes were, so time will tell if we have some bonus babies.)  I used Rowdy as the backup ram and he marked three ewes, who all appear to be pregnant.

(the official maternity ward)

It appears that we have at least 12 ewes who are bred.  Gabby will start it off, sometime next week and there are several who appear to be not far behind her.  Now that the lamb-cam is up and running, you all can check on them too!  There's a bonus with the lamb-cam this year that I absolutely love.  If you look at the top right of the blog sidebar, you'll see the link for viewing on your computer and under that, a link for using an iPad or iPhone!  I'm really excited about this because it means I can check on them from anywhere.  Sometimes technology really does seem magical!  If the weather is decent, you may not see much going on in the daytime, except possibly a few chickens and a peacock scratching around in the straw.  Evening feeding, night-time and rainy days will bring everyone in (though at this stage of their pregnancies, the ewes mainly assume their beached whale positions when they're inside the barn).

(another sign of spring)



 Mike brought these in with the mail yesterday.  Lambs are coming soon and the daffodils are blooming, two signs that we have survived this long, long winter!



7 comments:

  1. Is that Gabby front and center? Whoever it is is sporting a big belly!

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    1. Probably was Gabby. She is huge - twins for sure!

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  2. Hi--As a guest I can't trigger alerts on your lamb cam, but I've been watching one of your ewes for about 10 minutes now and I think she's "in the works". It was easier to see her before she moved into the glaring white spot by the doorway. Every spring I miss kidding season from my days of raising goats in 4-H.

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    1. It won't be long now. Because I know exactly when I put the ram in and that he bred Gabby immediately (!), I have a good date on her. If she goes 145 days it will be Tuesday, the 25th, though it could easily be a day or so on either side of that. The Wensleydale ram didn't have a marking harness, so the rest of the girls he bred are a big question mark. He apparently bred them during the night because I never saw any more action. Several of them are huge and have huge udders, so I could be looking at a busy week! They are pretty uncomfortable right now, so you'll see lots up getting up, pawing around, lying down, only to get up again. Poor girls!

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  3. Such a joy to have the Lamb cam back and running! This is the sure sign that spring is almost here and that the really long winter is gone. Thanks for sharing this, now I will have to be vigilant not to let it distract me too much!!

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