Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spotted half-Finn Surprises

If you look at my January 2011 post you see a little Finn spotty ram we got in November.  He had a roommate in a ram-lamb pen, Aspen, who was lost to a gate-jumping accident-- and then the Spotty was put in with the ewes because at 4 months, we figured he couldn't breed any of the unbred ewes.  We also thought, if he did, so what?  Cute babies!

Well, the so-what babies started popping out a week ago.  I showed you Candy, the little HST Shetland ewe who gave us some ewe twins, and here they are:

I KNOW they are half-Finn, partly because their legs are so long-- and their ears are a little pointy--

And because the first mate I'd chosen for Candy was Kimberwood Harrison, whose pedigree show no ancestors or offspring with spots!   And, the timing....
I think these beauties will be a great cross.  As newborns, they were more vigorous than the Finn lambs-- but their Finn genes already put longer legs on them, nice wool-- their prolificacy should be increased to, probably, triplet expectations--and I expect they will be 1-1/2 size of their pretty Shetland mom.  The Finnsheep Breeders Association has a crossbred registry, so ... that may be useful, too.  I'll sell one or both of these lambs, your choice, $250.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Last of the first lambs

The last twin ewe lambs were born last night.  (Not quite accurate:  two more ewes can lamb in another few weeks.
However, the first big wave ends with the new ewe lambs.
Stats:  30 lambs born to 13 ewes;  I think it's about 22 ewes to 8 rams.  Wow.

Anyway, a teaser-- here is the last ewe that lambed, Little Red Oak Candy, a photo taken 3 weeks ago.  She is a surprisingly spotted ewe, friendly, out of LittleRedOak Licorice Snap and White Pines Parker. 
She was bred to Kimberwood Harrison, a black gulmoget ram, but then she went back to the ewe barn, where the little spotted Finn ram lamb was hanging with the older ewes-- drum roll to see her babies' pictures in a day or two... dimly lit, indoor lamb shots are rarely worth the trouble...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Naming the Finn lambs

Meet Nappylainen and Loimu.  Meaning "spot" and "blaze", according to Google translator (in other words, don't blame me if we've got the Finn language all wrong!).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Really, more lambs?

A few people are interested in Finn Ram purchases this year.  One wants to see the udders on the mama ewes because she has a dairy flock (cool!).
So DH took an udder shot of Mari, who amazed us this year with triplets in three different solid colors:  black, white and brown!
The ewe lamb is white, her brothers are the solids.
(disclaimer: it's a true udder-- though I felt compelled to "touch up" the color on said udder right up under her tail, where evidence of a recent birth experience had not yet washed off in the rain... ) 
I'm no photoshop pro, it's apparent!
But I digresss.  Ta da... Mari and the kids-- er, I mean LAMBS!
Then, we have Mari hangin' with the other moms-- notice how Mari's babes all cluster around the milk bar behind her--
while Mari jaws with Abby (Crabby Abby, we call her)-- and Abby's ridiculously splashed-up baby ewe sleeps on the lamb playground ramp.  Abby's baby will fade to ... musket? and white, and be splashy only on her legs and face.    Oh, and Licorice Snap, black Shetland with white head splashes, looks on from the left, rear-- while her brown ewe and black ram lamb play on the lamb-ramp...  The other black ewe, rear, is a Finn-- Heidi, a yearling who hasn't lambed yet.

Then we have a few lambs you have already seen:  These are 2 of Finnsheep, Lassi's, quads examining the photographer's bootlaces. Lassi had 3 ewes and 1 ram-- and he is on the right, here:

Next, Bluebell's phaeo-spotted ewe lamb (bonus, who is very nice and not afraid of us).  She is pictured with another of Lassi's brown quad ewes.

And have you seen how well my tiniest finn ewe lamb is doing?  This one belongs to Kimi-- and nearly succumbed to hypothermia, born out on the lawn on a cool, breezy day.  She was the tiniest of triplets, weighing half of what the largest one weighed.  We bathed her, blew her dry, fed her bottles and kept her on a heating pad in a laundry basket for 12 hours-- and when she was strong enough to nurse on her feet, we returned her to her mother.  Way to go, Kimi, for taking her back!  This one is still called Tiny-- 2 lbs 12 oz at birth!

More pics to come, of course!  Happy Spring!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Shetland and Finn Lambs

It's spring, why am I surprised to be taking care of dozens of lambs and baby chicks?

Bluebell's twins are gray and white ewes, but the white one is a surprise:  polka dotted with what the sheep people would call phaeomelanin, I think.  I expect the spots to fade away, but stay tan stained on her legs and face.  NOT the best picture, but I have a new one with the entire family, soon!

Here we go:  I am so delighted to get a gray ewe-- both lambs are ewes.
Lassi's finn lambs #2 and 3? on their first day out, last week--note the huge
 size variation. I'm new with triplets/quads. I get the feeling this is common,
and can expect them to even out in size as they age.

Finn babies finding their wheels!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sheep dads and Lambs' 1st day out of the barn 2011

Let's start with a love fest in the field between my four rams.  Osmo, the big guy, is my Finn ram, a darling.  He is snuggling Little Red Oak Forrest, a yearling polled Shetland.  Behind Osmo is White Pines Parker, who is slightly scurred but throws polled rams and spots;  on the right is the August-born Finn ram lamb I got
last Fall.  He hasn't been used yet.  All lambs born this year came from Osmo (Finns) and Parker (Shetlands), and a borrowed black gulmoget, Kimberwood Harrison, to use on half the Shetland ewes.  (Oops, update:  a few came from the Finn ram lamb, now called Paavo.)

These photos were taken last week.  Editing photos takes time, in between helping new lamb moms.  Here's poor Minwawe November, who STILL hasn't lambed.  Poor, poor dear.

Below are Lassi the Finn girl's quads, just as they leave the safe barnyard for the first time.  They are following Lassi closely.  Lassi can't get at the fresh grass fast enough.  Ample udder for these babes;  we haven't supplemented them at all. 

Below, the Finn moms and babies are relaxing a bit.  Black lambs are Kora's, of course, and the brown ones are Lassi's.  So skinny, aren't those Finn babies?

Here's Boston Lake Niav with her sturdy little Shetland lambs.  Her ewe lamb looks like her, her boy is all black. 

Finn lambs in a scuffle!  This made me laugh-- they are so young, but instincts are already there!  They are both ewe lambs.

More pictures when I have more time.  Taking deposits on lambs, by the way!