Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Whose Lamb is This?

When I arrived at the barn yesterday, I found this new born with two mamas. I hung around watching – trying to see which mama would feed the baby. I thought the mother was the white ewe – her udder seemed larger than the brown and white ewe. After about 30 minutes, I saw the lamb nurse from the white ewe. But the brown and white ewe persisted in trying to care for the lamb.

This morning, this brown and white ewe had a set of twins – one white and one black. We figured she was close to lambing. Many pregnant ewes will exhibit this type of pre-maternal behavior when they are close to giving birth. It’s convenient for us – because we know who to keep tabs on.

Lots of sheep will give signs that they are close to birth. They will start to lie down apart from the rest of the sheep. Usually, within a day, they have a lamb to take care of.


It’s amazing how independent lambs become quickly. In their first couple days of life, they are always beside their mama. As a week goes by, they start cavorting and snoozing with the other lambs.

7 comments:

ElvaUndine said...

I so love vicarious lambing time! Thank you for all of the work you put into this blog, it's one of my favorites.

Willow said...

Hearing about lambing time is so much fun! And so much easier over the blog than in the barn! I remember the stories of my friend who had a sheep farm in Oregon...

Hilary said...

These are like real life James Herriot stories!

Hilary

Jennifer said...

Just love hearing the stories about the little lambs. Fascinating.

shortoldlady said...

Thanks for sharing - we get to enjoy the easy part while you have all the hard work. That last picture is so cute. The mother looks very wise while the little lambs look like they are thinking of what trouble to get into!! And look at those dirty knees! Too cute!

Turtle said...

Wish we could just jump in the car and head over to share the experience..and offer up some help! I remember laying my head on my dogs stomach like a pillow while reading one early evening (this was our thing) and hearing whining/whimpering from her stomach. Not 8 hours later she gave birth to 5 pups. Still is a wonder to me today that i could hear them puppy talking pre-birth from the womb.

Lisa Anne said...

I love hearing about your lambing time. We are about to embark on our own journey as shepherds (for dairy). We had two pregnant cows last year, when the first one gave birth the second one almost went crazy trying to take care of the calf, she gave birth two days later and was one overprotective mama!