Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lambing Time Almost Here

Today is February 15, 2012, in a little over 2 weeks our ewes are due to have their lambs.  This year we wanted to make sure the lambs were not born in January so we got a ram a little later than we had in the past, putting him with the ewes on October 4.  In previous years lambing in the middle of winter was hard work combined with the extra feed needed and risk to lambs being born in the cold.  Ironically this winter has been the mildest ever, we hardly have any snow, and temperatures have been pretty good for central Alberta!

With the sun shining and the girls all having big tummies I thought it would be a good day to take some pictures, so that is exactly what we did.  Actually my goal was to get a picture of the ram trying to charge me, he has been the first ram we have had that even tries this.  He only does it if I am not looking but on this day he didn't seem interested.  Normally I have to be very aware of where he is and if I feel he is planning a sneak attack, and turn, he pretends he was not up to anything at all.  Quite funny really, also he is small so not really a danger.

Anyhow for a while I had been worried that the ewes were not getting big, if you recall the first year we had sheep the ram we bought was infertile - I don't want to go through that again!  But in the last couple of weeks the ewes started getting bigger and there udders were showing.

Most of the ewes are getting udders, a few are bigger than others.  Diamond sheep is the largest, she usually has triplets, only once did she have twins.  Blackie, and Girlie are pretty big too.  In this picture you can see Diamonds rear end, and her swollen tummy.  You may also note how there is no snow, last year at this time it was up to above there stomachs, I had to shovel paths for them in some areas;  this year, next to nothing.

We only have 9 ewes, that seems like a more manageable number for our small hobby farm (we are not big time sheep breeders).  It is hard to get sheep to pose for their picture, but I think my husband did a good job getting some of them looking in the right direction for this shot. 

Here is another picture, this time you can see Diamond sheep facing amost head on, with Mrs Brown Katahdin to the left and the ram to the right (our right, not Diamond's). 

Aggie the donkey is in behind.