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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Let the Lamb Races Begin!

Finally, some lambs on the ground.  They came a bit later this year as we altered our breeding practices.  The shepherd failed to plan ahead and did not "synchronize" the ewes as we usually do.  As we tried to breed for early lambs it meant 3 of our 7 did not take, that is, no lambs from them.  Another ewe lost her lamb prematurely.  On the bright side we do have are 5 healthy, bouncing lambs, 2 sets of twins and one single. 

When the lambs are first born the moms hold there babes on a very short leash and work to keep them away from the other lambs.  Here is a picture of Siobhan with her lambs tight at her side as she ventures out of the barn to munch some green grass. 

As the lambs age, usually by about a week they are allowed to roam further from her side.  This is when they show some interest in the other lambs, as well as things like dirt, the barn downspout and the chickens.  By a couple weeks of age the lambs begin to sport around together in mass.  They discover their play structure, the top part of an old water tank.  Always fun to see who masters it first.  This year it is "Whiskey", Aurora's single lamb.  She is seen here doing some type of acrobatic half twist off the tank.

The favorite activity of all the lambs usually happens in the evenings.  That is when they wind up to perform the lamb races.  This involves running back and forth from the barn to the pasture at full speed.  They run and run and run until they have to stop, completely winded,  mouths open wide the catch their breaths.  Lots of fun to watch.

And when they are not running, well they are just looking darn cute!
Duke stretching after a nap

Dutchess interested in my camera
Whiskey peers over her mom

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Really?

While the rest of the country gets buried in snow, we out here in the west seem to be having unseasonably warm, dry weather.  Good for flowers, buds and shearing, probably won't be so good later in the summer when we run out of water.  We are doing our best to enjoy the sun for the moment, but as I am a true Oregonian, I get a little nervous when it's not raining. 

As I mentioned shearing I might as well let you know that it has come and gone.  Tom and I got our 16 sheep all sheared and it only took us 4 separate sessions.  As we are NOT professionals we can only do a few at a time before the backs start screaming.  We did feel pretty good about how it went this year.  Only one mishap.  That happened as I was getting to the last rump end of miss Rachel.  She decided to quickly plant all four hooves squarely on the ground and run!  I did a dive trying to hold her around the neck at the same time trying to keep the shears from smashing into the pavement.  Saved the shears but missed the sheep.  She went trotting down the drive with one big puff of fleece dragging in the dirt behind her.  Oh well, not perfect.  Maybe next year.

This is me shearing.  Tom is taking the picture but as this is a two person operation he quickly runs back into position once the picture is snapped.

This is Sushi's eyeball.  People often remark that sheep's eyes are so strange.  What do you think?

a close up of  Sushi's lock                  

Feather just has to tell me how much she loves me.