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7 Lambing supplies I can’t live without

Lambing season supply lists are easy to find in books and on websites. You can even buy a kit  (like this one) that cover all the basics. However I have found a few things that have made my life much easier. 1. The Carhartt arctic overalls and jacket has quilted lining and comes in men’s and women’s sizes.  There are plenty of pockets for bottles and vaccinations. And, when it gets covered with enough milk, lamb poo and mud to stand up on their own, you can throw the whole mess in the washer and dryer. When it’s really cold, I wear a polartec hood and thinsulate-lined gloves and I can literally stay out in the barn all night. And this year, I had to – several times. 2. Baby Monitor/Intercom. A simple unit from Wal-Mart or Radio Shack will […]

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Spring is here!

This is one of my favorite photos. Unfortunately it was with an iPhone, so the quality isn’t the best. This shows great Southdown mothering at it’s finest. Bossy’s lamb has just hit the ground and he’s trying to get up and have a meal, but she’s just cleaning the dickens out of the poor guy. Old Bossy has always been our most vigilant and possessive mother. I have been fortunate to have three daughters and two granddaughters from her.  Bossy used to stand at the fence with her babies behind her and smash our Pit Bull, Lucy, through the fence. Lucy would grab her topknot, and they’d do this over and over. The sheep weren’t in any danger, since Lucy was 13 and incapable of getting through the fence. All Bossy had to do was walk away, but she seemed […]

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What happens when most of your ewes get bred in one week?

Pandemonium. This year I tracked every time Mr. Seven marked the ewes on my Excel spreadsheet.  The idea is to put paint on his chest, and it leaves a mark on the ewe’s rump when they get busy.  The shepherd notes the date and waits for the lamb to arrive 150 days later. I was told that once a ram has bred all the ewes, he sits around acting bored because the ewes won’t let him near them. So I was very disappointed when I saw him mark them once, twice, three times. I resolved to accept whatever I got because it was too late to change rams. Then I noticed ewes bagging up much too early to have late-March or April due dates. I started backing up delivery dates to previous markings. Then last week, the babies started coming. And […]

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It’s 2010 and Lambing Time Again!

… and we are getting pretty jittery around here.  It’s that time when I spend an inordinate amount of time sharing at the ewe’s rear ends, as if they were crystal balls or something: “When are you going to deliver? Will there be twins?” Of course I have some idea of their due dates, because we used marking paint. But, we had a very rainy fall and I think there are a couple of cases where I thought ewes were re-marked and perhaps they weren’t, because the girls look way too big to be due that late.  We also ultrasounded, but apparently we did it too early because several of the ewes that were said to not be pregnant are bagging up now. Knowing the due date is important because we vaccinate momma 3 weeks before delivery (5 weeks and […]

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