I would like to apologize in advance for the gooey-ness of this post. I’m not usually a very “gooey” person. But these lambs just bring out the goo in me!!!!
I have this little dish my friend gave me last Christmas. It says:
Lazy days, snoozing sheep. Bouncy lambs, happy bleats.
Little did I know just HOW bouncy lambs really are! It’s like they think they’re part frog!
Two days after Jacob was born (see previous post for pics and video of him when first born), Elroy was born….
Well, to be fair, first Bessie was born, because I thought it was a girl. But the next day, crouched in the pen with the lamb and mother (to get the lamb use to me) I felt horns. Only Shetland rams have horn, ewes don’t.
So anyway, two days after Jacob was born, Elroy joined us too. He’s mixed in colors just like his mama! This is called “throwing spots” and usually comes from the ram. So hopefully when I use the same ram next year, I will get more lambs with multiple colors. This is good not only because they’re nice to look at, but in the Shetland market, they’re worth more too.
This is right where he was born. That long thick red thing next to him is actually the ewe’s placenta. The little bumps on there are called cotyledons. They are how the placenta actually attaches inside the ewe. Neat huh? Add THAT to the list of things I never knew I’d learn….
So I scooped him up and Mama quickly followed us into the barn. I weighed him, sprayed his umbilical with iodine and we checked the ewe’s teats to make sure milk was flowing, which it was. We popped them both into their little pen:
I ask you…. is there anything cuter than the tiny tail of a happy sheep?? I think not
A bit over 24 hours later, we let everyone out into the field. I expecting this big happy merging of the two lambs.
Not shockingly… I was wrong.
The ewes would basically not let the lambs anywhere near each other. Heads were butted into, even little lambs were knocked over, and the mothers were VERY protective. Jacob and his mother would be on one side of the pasture and Elroy and his mama on the exact other.
I found myself shaking my head. Everyone had told me how cute it is when they play together!!! Did I do something wrong? Should I force the ewes to let them be together.
Ahhhh, the panic of a shepherd who fears she’s lost her way….
A few days and a few deep breaths later, the ewes started to relax a bit. At first, it was only when I was bringing them grain (which is apparently like candy, covered in chocolate to sheep). They would take their eyes off the lambs just long enough for them to get near each other, and then one ewe would realize what was happening and run to intercept.
This went on for a few more days. Until one more I walk into the pasture, and the lambs are playing. Since then, they are largely inseparable.
I guess mother nature knew what she was going after-all!! And I now understand why no one mentioned those few days of avoidance by the ewes…. after you see how cute the lambs are together, it’s hard to remember anything else.
Here’s a great shot of them jumping over a log together. Which sounds boring, until you see it… First Jacob… then Elroy.
Here they are chewing on hay together (who knew they did that so soon?!?!)
And here they’re just hanging:
This picture is just Elroy, and that’s our dog Cody. It doesn’t really have anything to do with this post… but just LOOK at that expression on his face. He looks like he’s in love!
Thanks for checking up on what’s going on on the farm!
My next post will not be so lamb-centric, I promise. We’re moving into planting season and we’re actually putting up a greenhouse this year. I will be sure to get pictures and report back on how it goes!