Baby Lambs

The arrival of baby lambs means it must be Spring

Over the last few days, we have been blessed with the arrival of several baby lambs. Two sets of twins and two singles. As I posted the other day, Golda gave us a nice healthy set of twins, one boy and one girl.

Spring Lambs
Golda’s Baby Lambs

The next day we had a delivery from Gertrude. She delivered a nice healthy baby lamb on the berm of the pond. There was a scary moment when the baby rolled down the berm into the pond, fortunately, Hilary was there to rescue the little one and dry it off.

2016-02-21 08.52.56Then Blacky had her twins, literally a few hours after Claire lured her into her temporary housing area. The tarp is to keep their food dry and provide shade. The “A” frame is where they sleep.

 

This mom, had her baby yesterday, 2-23-2016, also. She is a first-time mother and is doing a fantastic job with her little one. It never ceases to amaze me when I watch how these beautiful animals instinctively know how to care for their babies.

Baby Lamb
First Time Mom and Baby Lamb

Here’s a group shot of the rest of the Ewes. I suspect they will be delivering their baby lambs any day now. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

Ewes Ready to delivery Baby Lambs
Expectant Mothers

Curious about how to build expedient farm shelters? Check out this free resource for ideas. These are for people, but farm animals like them too:

Some more posts about our sheep for your enjoyment.

Calling the Lambs Calling the Lambs It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable though. …

Fun on the Farm Fun on the Farm There are so many things to do that are fun on the farm. The kids love to play on the giant hay rolls. Sometimes they climb on them to play king of the hill, other times to get a different view of the world. I asked my daughter …

Katahdin Photo Shoot Katahdin Photo Shoot   I took these pictures May 1st, 2015 shortly after I received a call from a man who wants to purchase all of my adult Katahdin Ewes. I was planning on replenishing the herd with new Ewes this coming Fall so this is a blessing. These first pictures are …

Katahdin Sheep Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdin’s do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two.

 

Spring Lambs

Golda Delivers Spring Lambs

The first of our Spring Lambs were born this morning. Golda, our oldest and most reliable Ewe, delivered another set of twins. Introducing one boy and one girl to the Ten Mile Farm.

These two have a rough road ahead, but we are hopeful they will make it. Golda has always been a reliable mother and she has produced twins every year since we got her.

We have never had an issue with Golda, but that hasn’t been the case with all of our Ewes. One time, when we were new at this, we had an abandoned lamb. None of the Ewes would claim it has their own. And therefore, none of them would allow the little fellow to eat. S

When this happened we had to be bottle feed for a few days and then transition the lamb to a nipple feeder. The first 72 hrs are critical. They will need a warm bottle every couple of hours around the clock if they’re going to survive. Once they are in the clear and showing strength, we can transition them to the feeder.

Lamb Bucket

This feeder will hang from the roof above their stall and provide them with nutrition as we transition them to solids. We’ve only had to do this once and it was a learning experience for all. The little Lambs are very fragile at this stage, especially the smaller ones. With proper management and good Ewes we shouldn’t need this bucket again, but it is comforting to know we have it available.

Here are some more posts about lambs for your enjoyment

Calling the Lambs Calling the Lambs It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable, though. …

First Bloom at Ten Mile Farm and Market First Bloom Finally the snow – and any credible threat of its return – is gone. I was out walking the property today when I saw a few bright yellow daffodils popping their heads up showing the first bloom of spring on the farm. So nice to see come color. [gallery columns=”2″ …

Katahdin Photo Shoot Katahdin Photo Shoot   I took these pictures May 1st, 2015 shortly after I received a call from a man who wants to purchase all of my adult Katahdin Ewes. I was planning on replenishing the herd with new Ewes this coming Fall so this is a blessing. These first pictures are …

Lamb Update Lamb Update I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what …

Pasture Raised Lamb Pasture Raised Lamb Imagine being confined in a small, malodorous and dank space with just enough room  to stretch your legs. You feel hungry, but there is no sign of food. Then suddenly the door opens and in comes a person carrying buckets of something. He comes forward and tips over …

Preparing for Lambing

Lambing at the Ten Mile Farm

Katahdin sheep are excellent at lambing and normally need very little direct assistance. There are still a few things that we can do that will make the experience more pleasant for them and lead to healthier lambs.

The main thing we want to do is ensure they have a protected space to care for their new offspring. We want the Ewes and their lambs to be comfortable and have unfettered access to fresh water and a variety of feeds.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing for Lambing

To accomplish this, we have modified our old chicken coup into a three stall “barn” for the girls. We will introduce the girls to their space a few days before lambing begins and keep them confined to this space until the lambs are about six weeks old.

One of our Ewes developed a hardened udder. This will prevent her from feeding her lambs. We will put her newborns in one of the three stalls and suspend a bucket with feeding nipples for them to use.

Lamb BucketWe bought ours here

This set up provides protection from wind and rain. It will contain feed and water and the floor will be covered with straw.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing or Lambing

The sheep should be quite content in this space. It will keep them warm, well fed, and provide them with a sense of security.

 

Another benefit of restricting their movement the first few weeks is that it will help conserve their energy. In the past, we have allowed Ewes and their lambs to roam the farm. This has resulted in two tragedies. This first tragedy was when a newborn lamb wandered into the pond at night and drowned. We were awoken by the mother’s desperate bleating as she searched for her lamb. It took us a full day of searching before we saw the lamb floating in the pond.

The second tragedy came when a young lamb found it’s way through the fence, but could not find it’s way back in. Young lambs need to feed every three to four hours and this one was separated from its mother for nearly 10 hours before we found it. As hard as we tried, we were not able to nurse it back to health.

The confined area will prevent these types of accidents and as long as we keep it clean, will provide the best environment for the Ewes and their lambs.