Monday, May 25, 2009

The Taming o' the Lambs

We don't do it with cookies. . . we've just never caught on to that method. . . nor do we use grain. . .
we just sit on the grass and let them climb all over us.
Once you get a hand under their chins or chests and start to scratch, they fall into a trance. . . the petting trance, we call it. . .

This was Saturday night. Emily loves to let the lambs frolic on her. I had the orphans on leads (fashioned from shoestrings when they were a week old) and was just giving up that lesson.
Dear Husband (DH), who now has the sickness I passed on to him, was commissioned to bring a camera outside with him, and he obliged.

So here, in addition to a couple of lambs, we have the yearling, LittleRedOak Catnip, who was in need of some mothering herself after this past, exhausting month of BEING a mother to twins. She hung her head on Emily's shoulder for petting.

The sweetest thing. Both of them. All of them.
>Sigh< I guess I do like living in the country.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 19th, the day of record-breaking heat in MN

We're trying to wean these bottle babies. Opinions, anyone? They were born April 9th, so. . . they are 5+ weeks old? The Premier catalog says, cut 'em off, water only, at 5 weeks. The Storey Guide to Raising Sheep says only "days. . . 18?-35" feed 3x day, a pint. . . no more data. Implied, no more bottle after 35 days? I couldn't cut 'em off, not yet-- they're getting a baby bottle--8oz, twice a day, with a bottle of water in between. Of course they have a great grass/alfalfa pasture. And they are fat. But they still look like little lambs, knee high-- a week or two older than all my other lambs, some of whom have nearly caught up to them! Let me know your thoughts, thanks.
This is, you know, what happens when you try to photograph overly friendly sheep-- they come running and fill the camera frame:

These next two pics are now a week to two weeks old. Did I mention I've been sick? REALLY sick, like, was that the swine flu? Or just bronchitis? A whole week, plus.
Here's Little Red Oak Catnip again, a smallish spotted ewe out of LRO Yarrow and Minwawe Equator. Laid-back, friendly. A good mama. Her ewe lambs are starting to like being petted. Splash and Smudge, for the marks on their heads.

And the pack of brown lamb-boys. Many are sprouting horn buds-- which I'll keep an eye on. I'm hoping for one good polled or scurred rammy to use on some ewes this year. Probably the twin to January, the katmoget in my last post. His name is March, or Mars. . . and he's the alert little guy on the right, with the white wisps on top. But gee, that middle lamb looks pretty good. . . time will tell.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lambs a week later. . .

I'm all better!

Thus cries Ash, the little scrawny lamb who had scours last week. He gave it to his twin, too, but by then we were ready with the tetracycline and icky black paste (Tri-pectate, for you home vet care enthusiasts) and she came through it quicker.

Now twins and mom, Maple, are out cruisin' the pastures.

I spent some time stalking Minwawe November and her lamb, LittleRedOak January. November used to love me, grew distant with advancing age, and last year, protected her baby from me. But right after this photo today, she came over to get petted. Yay--she'll teach January that I'm ok. January has a brown ram twin, March. He's off with the boys somewhere.

LRO Yarrow has this beautiful, crimpy-coated musket (oatmeal-colored as an adult, like she is) ewe lamb. The facial markings are a more dramatic version of her own when she was a lamb. Yarrow has the thickest fleece-- she's a Bluebell daughter-- but little crimp. And Yarrow throws wildly spotted lambs-- so I think this baby will, too. We called her Betony.

Hmmm, all the lambs shown above were sired by Kimberwood Leonardo, a polled ram. I'm so happy there's a ram twin in each pair, to show me whether the mating produced horns or not!
* * *
Apparently, I've stunned the lamb pack, who got caught playing alone without their mommies:

Remember to click on a picture to see it BIG on your screen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lambs on Monday

Poppy and Lily at 3 weeks. Who could not love these two?

I have a tiny lamb with scours (diarrhea). I doubt he weighs four pounds. His little rump is maybe 12 inches high. His twin sister is twice his size. He's been vigorous enough, only now he has scours, and mom, Maple, would just as soon get on with life outside the lambing jug and let him lag or fall behind.
So I spent monday feeding him tiny squirts of the foulest black paste one could be asked to ingest-- and he acted like I killed him, each time. Then a few hours later, he'd be bouncing around!
I think he's much improved today-- and we are taking turns. Now I don't feel so well.
No black paste, please.

Lamb photos~
Here's Bramble Elsie, who threw a scurred ram last year that I used this year. This year she had twin girls, Elise and Lizzy.

Cement block as pillow, LittleRedOak Junie and Tuesday, her babe:

Not a great shot of Yarrow's twins, but who could ask sleeping babies to move? She's standing watch over them. The girl, behind, is a lighter musket color with SUPER Crimp. Friendly from the start, as Yarrow's lambs always are.

My friend, Mary's, favorite new lamb, Ivan:

Monday, May 4, 2009

New lamb photos 09

Night and Day,
actually Ivan and Ivy, out of HH Bluebell and Kimberwood Leonardo. Bluebell (you can see) is white; the sire, Leo is brown-- Bluebell's boy, here, is splashed black and white (he will turn gray as he matures) and her girl, Ivy, is another white ewe with total crimp and speckled legs, just like mom.
The surprise is that Bluebell threw black. That means she is genetically a black sheep with the White pattern masking her base (black) color! I didn't know! She's always thrown brown before this, when mated with brown.
The sheep color genetics puzzle is actually a rather simple one, but it still can make your head spin when you first encounter the possibilities.
Now, Ivy, the little girl, has a blackish spot above one knee and under her tail-- I'll save that question (of Spottedness) for another day, with better photos.
For now,I am thrilled to have these new, bright splashes of color and pattern in my flock.

Then, out in the pasture, the week-old lambs Smudge and Splash, out of LRO Catnip and pollie Leonardo:

And now Smudge, Eeno the finn ram lamb and Catnip, Smudge's mom:

LRO June's solid brown little, crimpy brown ewe and ram lamb, with Eeno (isn't he long legged?)

Monday's to be another gorgeous spring day. More pretty baby pictures to come.