Monday, April 22, 2013

And Our Last Contestant Is......

..... a hefty 16.25 lb ram lamb from Cotswold mom Gilly, born Friday morning before noon.

I wanted to get a little closer so naturally he got up and photo-bombed me.  I like the symetrical curly hair in front of his ears. 

It's been an awfully hectic few weeks - so hectic that I failed totally to blog along the way.  I have to sit down with the record sheets to cite facts and figures, but I can say it was definately a "ram year" with significantly more ram lambs than ewe lambs born.  I had no colored Cotswolds born because I used a white ram on all those ewes and his white trumped their color.  That's OK.  When I put those daughters with a future colored ram I should get lots of color. 

It was a rough year health-wise for the flock.  We lost Pearl before lambing and a Cotswold ewe named Kuddles to pneumonia.  Hazel gave me Fortune via a C-section and sadly expired once off anesthesia.  And a Cotswold named Ilsa had triplets that got tangled up with each other a few days before she likely would have delivered and it caused the death of at least one lamb which caused her to have an abnormal labor resulting in a long vet visit culminating in 3 deceased lambs and Ilsa having to be euthanized due to a perforated uterus also likely caused by the triplets becoming entangled with each other. 

We had three live sets of triplets.  One set became a trio of bottle babies when mom developed mastitis.  Another from a different set became a bottle lamb due to being so much slower and weaker than her siblings.  The third set of triplets was cause for worry because mom really didn't like lamb #2 or #3. 

For various reasons I found myself with upwards of ten lambs who were wholly or partially being bottle fed and I was only half way through lambing.  I started getting a little panicky since I know darn well that I get too attached to bottle lambs to do anything but keep them.  Happily - thankfully - the wonderful lady that runs the Wool Center at the state fair is also heavily into 4H and knew some families craving bottle lambs.  I sent her off with seven early in April with a happy heart knowing that they would have good homes.  Two of them were lambs #2 and #3 from the above-mentioned reluctant mother.  Of course I kept Fortune and the three siblings from 'mastitis mom'.  Also the small weak triplet that had become a bottle baby and one last lamb from an old ewe who was so slow to get started that she ended up in the house.... for several days..... and so ended up a bottle lamb.  Coincidentally, even in a 'ram year' the bottle lambs are all girls. 

The Gang of Six.  It must have been meant to be since they all fit on the bucket feeder :-/
That's Fortune on the far right - noticeably bigger than the others.

And here's a more flattering picture of her.

The others definately look to her as the ringleader big sister.
I used a new Cotswold ram on all the white ewes this year and I like the nice blocky lambs I'm seeing.  Many have the dark nose and tinge of dark in the ears that is fancied in the breed.
Everybody's growing quite well.
Annoying Mom.....
Investigating the world beyond the barn doors.....
This guy was more agreeable about having a close-up taken.

Enjoying the sunshine....

I like how the colored lamb is resting on his brother....kind of squishing him, actually.  But the sun is so nice he's sleepy and doesn't care.

And I'm happy that I can sleep through the nights again!


  1. I am sorry for all of your losses, but I am glad you have made it through. That bottle feeding bucket is ingenious.

    My Farm Buddy had her first lambs born last night. A nice set of triplets who are, fortunately, all doing great. I hope the rest do as well.

    I hope you can get some sleep and enjoy the babies now.

  2. Oh you deserve some sleep ...can't be up all night counting sheep! ;) Even though they are so darn cute . Sounds like you had your hands full.

  3. Oh they ARE blocky little chunks :-D. Glad to see you back in blogger land. We missed you!