This black badgerface ram lamb being petted by a mysterious stranger is Zuko IV, out of Brunhilde. She had him Sunday afternoon right before my eyes. She is going to be our first ewe cull for conformation defects, her teats are located in very poor positions for nursing lambs, equivalent to under the arms. Her little guy is cheerful and of hearty spirits, but totally unable to figure out suckling. He has the strength, but not the instinct. She was one of the unexpected lambings.
So was Ripley. Hers was sadder. She miscarried 8/4/16. (GRAPHIC FETUS PICTURE BELOW)
So we are at 15 lambs delivered of 9 ewes and 13 live lambs, of which one is currently a bottle lamb. 9 live males, 4 live females and sex indeterminate of the miscarriage. Still waiting on Toph and Katara to give us a sign they got pregnant. Nothing yet.
We got enough fencing in place to keep the yearling rams from roaming. And roam and roam they did, apparently in the wild it is normal for young unbred rams to find a little pasture away from the herd Rocky-style and train (via eating lots, the sheep version of lifting big and posting gains) to take down the Big Ram. So that is what Clovis and Zuko II were doing when they kept busting out of the fencing. But now they’re stuck in our roughly 4 acre pasture, until we can send them to freezer camp.
We met several neighbors, who were pretty cool about things and have really nice pastures, at that.
We are done with breeding for the next few years and will just focus on fiber. We will probably just eat and/or sell all the rams.
Lisa graced us with twin rams right in the barn stall a few minutes before we were going to leave for church on Sunday. One was very frail and weak looking, with original-Zuko‘s coloring. He is the only lamb with a name so far, Zuko 3. But he only needed a couple pumps of Nutridrench and he was off to the races by the time we came home from church. His moorit brother was also on the smaller side, but both ram lambs are doing very well rambling after Lisa up in the maternity ward. She was fretful and Badgerface was being kind of mean girl until she got on the move, but overall the ewes have been good to each other.
Lisa and Zuko 3, she was trying to avoid the other ewes and rams and get some privacy.
Zuko 3 and his brother. They are on the tiny side.
We currently are waiting on Dottie and Grey and we have seven ram lambs and two ewe lambs out of five ewes. Azula turned out to have a little fawn colored ram upon much closer inspection.
Grey just lambed, and I was leaving her to do her thing, but after two hours, I went up the hill where she was hiding out and there was a dead black ram lamb, still in the sac. The other black (ram, probably, couldn’t get close enough to check for sure) lamb was up, a little wobbly, but able to nurse. She has only one teat, so that’s not the worst thing. She hasn’t passed the placenta yet. I took some pictures, will post them later today. This is depressing, but she is the most skittish when lambing and I had to choose between hovering over her and risking more labor complication vs. leaving her to it and taking this chance of a dead lamb. We may have to try in the future what we did last year, moving her to a small pen until the lamb(s) are established. This year we let her lamb on the main pasture and she ran off into the woods where it was full of twigs and moss and fallen logs and branches. Not easy to observe her or for her to move around, but definitely isolated the way she likes it.
A third ewe birthed yesterday, it was not easy for her and she had surprise ram/ewe twins. The ram’s horn buds were really stuck in there and he had to be pulled out by my husband. She’s our other first-timer and she managed to do ok with the ewe that followed very unexpectedly (my husband was worried it was a prolapse until it became clear it was just another bag and lamb), but I think we have a new fiber wether if he gets his feet today.
I was up all night with him, he is pretty loud, which is a good sign, so that’s all for now.