Saturday, April 19, 2008

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."

Yes, this year's lambing was the best and the worst in the 12 or so years that we have bred sheep. We are finished and the final count is 12 ram lambs and 9 ewe lambs.

10 ewes lambed without a hitch. 10 sets of healthy twins. We only saw one lamb born this year. We have beautiful colors, patterns, and soft fleeces. They are running around the pasture like crazy children-hopping, kicking, jumping, crashing, and out and out running.

The very best of the best ... the two ewe lambs born to Windswept Shania and Hidaway Farms Razzle. It was an experiment. Razzle's mom is a black yuglet sokket and his dad is a fawn katmoget. Razzle is a grey katmoget. We have been trying to get spots from Shania but so far only 3 solids and a katmoget. The experiment worked.
So...introducing...(drum roll please)...Hidaway Farms Emily and Charlotte Bronte.

Emily is a spotted grey katmoget ewe. She has a white spot on her forehead and some white patches in her grey fleece. Charlotte is what our goal was. She is a moorit smirslet ewe. She has one brown leg and hoof and 3 white legs and hooves. Her belly is white as well as her tail and neck. We couldn't be happier with these two.

Windswept Martina (black with a krunet spot) was also bred to Razzle. She produced two black ram lambs.

The experiment didn't produce the same results with Martina who carries the spotting gene. On the top is Ricky Ricardo and on the bottom is Fred Mertz.

We also had a precious moorit ram with a very crimpy fleece born to Hidaway Farms Gina and a dark grey katmoget ewe lamb. Pictures will come later.

We were nearing the end with one more ewe to lamb. All I can say it that it was a tragedy. After too many hours in labor we realized that Cadey was having a problem. A call to the vet-she was out of town-it was up to my dear husband to untangle the lambs. It seems both were trying to be born at the same time. A stillborn ram lamb was delivered and then a very weak ewe lamb came. Poor Cadey was in shock. She tried licking the ewe and even drank some warm molasses water. We gave her a shot and some nutridrench. We gave the lamb nutridrench and a bottle. We left the barn that night discouraged and knew it was up to them if they were to survive at all. Thursday morning my husband found the lamb nursing a very sore and miserable Cadey. Cadey died during our evening feeding. She tried nursing the baby just a few minutes before she gave up. What a valiant mother she was!! Needless to say that we were heartbroken for the second time this lambing season. Well, we have a bottle baby for the 4th year in a row. For the past 3 years we had a mom that rejected one lamb every year. We got smart and didn't breed her this time. Well, on the plus side...we don't have 2 bottle lambs.

We have baby Jane Austin, a musket katmoget, in a little pen in the barn. She is doing very well and getting stronger every day. She already knows our voices and follows us around. It is truly amazing! She smells my breath just to be sure it's her new mom. We will love her and take care of her for Cadey! Tomorrow I will introduce you to her.

Yes, it has been the best of lambing and the worst of lambing. Now we move ahead and watch as these beautiful lambs grow and those wonderful Shetland fleeces are being produced!

1 comment:

Nancy K. said...

I am SO sorry for your loss of Cady. What a wonderful Mom she was...