No new lambs

The two ram lambs are growing about 1lb per day per lamb, based on the weighings we were able to manage.  They are increasing in vigor and size visibly.  They’re also darkening up, with a lot more brown than when they were newborn.  They are not likely to have much white, that is both recessive and not heavily selected for in the American Icelandic genetic pool.  As far as I’ve seen, shepherds of Icelandics in America cater to wool buyers who want a range of colors and not just white dye-friendly wool.  White wool isn’t rejected, it’s just not necessarily as sought after by people who want this fleece.  Also, many Icelandic-raising shepherds like working with wool themselves and also have a personal preference for the color variety of brown, black and spotted that is typical for the breed.

I think the other ewes must have been covered later than my recollections.  I looked back at my posts around that time and it looks like the first week of November might be when they were bred and not the very tail end of October.  The grey ewe was settled very quickly, which is surprising given that she remains our most skittish and feral ewe herself.  But I thought the gap between her and the others was just two or three or maybe four days.  If it was a week or so, then we could be waiting until the first few days of April for all the lambs to finish making their appearances.

We’re going to see if we can put together a permanent ram pen rather than a temporary one.  Even though Icelandics are not prone to out of season conception, their season goes through April, and they return to fertility during that time.  So it will be easiest going forward to keep the rams completely separate from the girls, especially since it will mean less work separating ewelambs from breeding ewes.  It’s too bad, it would be easier if they could stay in all summer with the ewes and the new lambs.  But our rams do better without the distraction of the ladies, surprisingly.  No dominance fighting, sharing food occasionally, and generally calmer.

 

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