Lambing is Done

It’s finally over, and it went great.  In the end, they’re all nursing, the mothers are healthy and holding their weight well.  We have little lambs all over the place; they really do frolic, leap and jump, and it’s easy to waste time out in the pasture or barnyard watching them.  Their mothers are extremely protective and patient with them, and, though they won’t nurse another ewe’s lamb, are careful and watchful of all the lambs in the flock.

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This little ewe is about 1 hour old.

As you may remember, the sire is a purebred Texel ram – a magnificent fellow.  The dams are of two types.  Most of my ewes are mixed breed white faced – Dorset, Columbia and Rambouillet crosses.  Also, I have several California Red ewes, who are smaller in frame and stature than the white faced ewes.  All of my ewes are of high quality and are proven mothers.

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All these lambs are about 5 – 7 days old.  See the difference between the white-faced and California Red!  They all have the same sire (father).

The difference in their lambs is remarkable.  The white faced ewes all produced big, leggy, white lambs, with birth weights of 12 – 18 pounds.  The California Reds all have much smaller, red lambs with refined heads and faces, and their newborns are 8 – 12 pounds at birth.  As summer goes on, I will take note of their daily rate of gain and finally, their finishing weight, to determine which is the best type to make the most efficient meat lamb.

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Two mothers with their newborn lambs in the jugs.  They stay in these small pens for about three days, to bond and so that we can be sure the lambs are strong and nursing, and that their mothers have no ill after-effects from lambing.

This year we ended up with only 3 single lambs, a set of orphan triplets and a set of quadruplets (I will tell you about them next time) – all the rest were twins!  Very unusual!

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Little Laddie helping out with feeding time.  We have babies all around!

It is a huge relief to be done with lambing.  I was totally sleep deprived (happily so), and did a happy dance when I realized I finally didn’t have to set my alarm for 1:50 am, and could sleep the night through.  Now, though, the task is to keep everyone healthy and alive, and to maximize the daily gain in the little ones while keeping their mothers healthy.  This takes great attention, no slacking off until after market time!

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A brand new mother with her brand new babies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This entry was posted in #lamb, Ag Production, Education, Farm Families, Farm Products, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Livestock Production, Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lambing is Done

  1. Mary Chown says:

    Robin, they are all precious! How will you ever part with them at market? Or do you use the sleeplessness to your advantage, lol? I purchased a Texel cross hand-dyed yarn on my last trip to Belgium so I will be interested to find out crimp and hand on your Ramboullet crosses. I am in Germany now so I won’t get to watch the frolics until mid-June. I hope all goes happy and healthy till I can come visit! Take care and sleep well, Mary

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Robin W.L. says:

      Hi Mary! Germany, aaahhh, sounds wonderful. By the time they are ready for market, the lambs are BIG and not cute any more, for sure! REgarding Texel wool… is it of goo quality? I gave much of the shorn wool away this past spring, but have a big, huge bag left. I’ll go through it sometime to see if I can identify the Rambouillet. Next spring we’ll have the Texel/Rambouillet and the Texel/Columbia fleeces. 🙂 Have fun! Robin

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