Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuckered Trio

We have now combined all the smaller mixing groups except for the one with the last lot of youngest lambs.  It was bedlam for a couple of hours as everyone trooped back and forth, got separated, then went looking for each other.  Lambs and moms would call, come close then pass each other and miss connections because other animals were standing in the way.  Then there were the happy lambs that just wanted to run around and didn't care that mom was calling them.  They had pretty well sorted themselves out by chore time.

With the whole length of the barn floor open, plus the yard and the length of the former-feed-bunk-now-loafing-shed the lambs can run flat out for a meaningful distance, make a turn and run back.  They do this several times in a row particularly at feeding time when the excitement from the adults is contagious.  It's good because it gets a lot of them out from underfoot at feeding time.   Sheep are not careful with lambs at this stage - they feel it's every sheep for themselves and even with ample feeder space they all try to cram into the first section.  We have to keep an eagle eye out that a lamb doesn't get unwillingly swept along among the big bodies and squished.

These three siblings are taking a rest in the sunny yard after the morning races.


Sheep siblings will almost always choose to sleep or hang out together.  Single lambs make friends and hang with them, but twins and triplets come with built in companions and they seek each other out in preference to others. 

The lamb facing away from us has a burdock burr on its head.  We had some lovely second cutting alfalfa - perfect feed for milking ewes and growing lambs - which we've discovered the hard way is peppered with burdock.  The dang plants grew about seven inches tall and because it was so hot and dry they set seed at that size.  Usually if there are burdocks in the hay they are biggish plants that we can see as we're feeding and pull out.  Not this time.  The lambs are peppered with burrs and the ewes are carrying a lot on their faces.  We'll pick them off over time as we handle the lambs for vaccinations and the ewes for eye scoring and later coat fitting, but for now they are a huge source of annoyance to me as the animals look unkempt and uncared for.

There are certainly loads worse things I could have to worry about, but in the words of the immortal Roseanne Roseannadanna, "It's always something." 



  1. There's a few tricks to can try cornstarch, baby/cooking oil or a show-sheen type product...spritz or sprinkle on the burr area and comb it out. If you have a furminator comb for your dog, that works well, too.

  2. Roseanne Roseannadanna...I'd almost forgotten :-D. Pretty, pretty lambs! Even with the burdock ;-).

  3. I found a sample of show-sheen, so will make every effort to put in the mail for you to try.