Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lambing season has began!

 Lambing started yesterday as we were loading some calves to sell.   Sugar Top, a black corriedale/shetland cross,  came in from the pasture,  went into the barn and politely had her lamb.  I found her when I was moving gates around.  The little ewe lamb is black with a white spot on top of her head just like her mother.   Mother and baby are doing great.

Miss Maggy Knight...after black as a mag pie...daughter of Sugar Top and White Knight.

Already trying to eat a piece of straw.  She is sucking like a champ!

She already needs a coat!  White Knight usually throws white lambs but Sugar Top's twin sister had black lambs from him last year.

When we first started raising sheep, I got into the Oxfords, Columbians, Corriedales, polypays and then the shetlands.  I watched the the larger breed lambs stuggle to get going, it took hours/ days but when we had baby shetlands, they were so hearty, up going strong after 30 minutes and by day 2, they were all over the barn and could squeeze through a crack.  We talked about how we appreciated the heartiness traits of the shetlands and decided that we would breed all to a shetland ram.  Sugar Top is one of the ewes resulting from this crossing.  She has never had any trouble lambing and always has a healthy and active lamb.  Her wool is soft and has 3 1/2 stable. She is a very independent and hearty ewe, good mother, and easy keeper.   Now we are breeding her to a BFL the last 2 years and last year she had a ram lamb so we had to sell him but this year we have Maggie...can you imagine her color with stable lengths of 5-6 inches like our other girls?  We are starting to see our breeding program goals being met...easy keeping sheep that are hearty, easy lambers, with lambs that are up and going in less than a day, good mothers, and beautiful wool that spins and weaves easily. 

All the ewes are in the barn of a night and tonight the winds are blowing and the temp is dropping with chances of snow...they will probably have to stay in the barn until it warms up again.  I am doing barn checks every 4 hours of the night and Danny is checking them every 3 hours during the day. We have several with tight bags, springing, and sides look like lambs have dropped.    New fresh straw covers the floor of all the lambing jugs, feeding pans and water buckets are ready to go.  I have alfafa to feed to the new mothers.  I just need some jumping juice for myself for the next month!  And Angie's baby boy is due in 8 days.  We are so blessed and I will praise God for everything.
Just 39 more Ewes to lamb! 
Did I mention that we are also calving?


  1. Congrats on the first lamb. Looks healthy and great start to the season. As you begin lambing I start sorting to bring to market in two weeks. We also have a few calves coming soon.It was cold -16C this morning but the snow held off our area, just seems to have swung around where we live. Thankfully! I have been wearing my mitts. I think of you every time I have them on. I had not heard much from you and yesterday began to think you were depressed. With a new baby soon arriving I hope this is not the case.Anyway I missed you. M;)

  2. I want to pick it up and hug it! What a sweet baby!

  3. Marlyn, I have been having the joint pain and it has hit the hardest in the back of my neck. Just another bout of Autoimmune, but it sure limits what I can do while sitting and typing are really painful. I go to work and come home and do chores then put the heat pad on and take my meds...and this shall pass too! I miss keeping up with you too. Danny told me the other night, "you better check in with Marlyn" and I fell asleep.
    Can't wait for Evan to get here. 1 week and counting down.
    Lori, I am thinking of putting coats on my sheep next fall, I might shear in the fall. Marlyn, do you have sheep coat pattern?
    Maggy will let me pet her but her mother has always been a little on the wild side.

  4. Beautiful babe Mom! I love the name too! Less than a week now and I'll be blowin' raspberries on Evan's juicy cheeks. I miss you and can't wait to eventually have you and Dad up for a visit! In the meantime, please make sure you're getting enough rest. Love you!

  5. Any baby yet?? waiting for pictures!
    My coat pattern. Hum. I just trace one I bought years ago. The baby ones I got from a sheep book I took out the library. i think Storey's sheep book!

  6. Oh Maggie reminds me of my Fraser (Shetland)
    when he came to me as a lamby.
    I've never been through Lambing, but I imagine I would be a reck! Hee
    Warm Blessings, Linnie


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