October 1 – breeding season starts. Count 148 days more or less and there will be lambs. I know where I’ll be February 26. Farm Club came to help sort sheep.
There were four breeding groups to sort–ewes that would go to three Jacob rams and Peyton, the BFL. There is also a non-breeding group. I juggled which ewe lambs to not breed–I want to have some to show next spring (maybe take to MSWF to sell?) and to show at State Fair. I debated which ewes to put with Peyton. Obviously those won’t produce purebred Jacob lambs, but the crossbred lambs grow fast and are valuable for market lambs.
We got the rams out and trimmed their feet.
We got the marking harnesses ready. I use the same color in all of the harnesses. The breeding groups are all in separate places so I’m not trying to sort which ram bred which ewes. If they were all together I’d have fighting rams and still wouldn’t know the sires because there would be multiple breedings. I will change the color in about two weeks. Then I’ll know that all the blue marks are from the first two weeks of breeding and if the ewes are marked with the next color they were bred in the next two weeks.
This is ewe lamb, Hollyhock. The dirty face and dirty wool is a result of the tall dallisgrass that is now sticky. As a result the sheep are covered with dirt and with dallisgrass seeds.
I this opportunity to take close-up photos of the ewe lambs that I need to register.
Here is the main event. Rams working working overtime with their mouths open and tongues out. Uh, Peyton, that’s a wether.
The ewes that are in heat will hang around the ram. Sheena and Shelby were the two who were interested in Catalyst. If Catalyst showed interest in one the other started beating him up.
This gives new meaning to Fall Colors.
I caught the ewe lambs yesterday to figure out which were still for sale. I’m planning to keep several this year and it’s always tempting to keep too many. I sold several adults this year and a couple have died so I can keep at least 6 or 8 as replacements.
These lambs are all on my list to keep. There are a few close-ups below.
Meridian Jennie (bide a wee Buster x Meridian Jane). She won Reserve Champion Ewe at Black Sheep Gathering last month.
Here is what she looked like in April.
I just decided yesterday that I’d keep this one. She’s not named yet (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Alice).
Here is a picture from May. Notice how the wool in front of her horns is shedding out. Adult Jacob sheep are not supposed to have woolly foreheads but the lambs are often born with wool that will shed.
This is Jasmine (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Jazz).
The wool on her forehead is also shedding.
Here is what she looked like in April.
Take a look at this nice looking ram lamb in late March. Look below to see why I don’t want to make deals for rams at a young age.
This ram can not be registered.
Other lamb photos are on the website although I haven’t updated the listings this month. There are several ram lambs to remove. Ram lambs. Ewe lambs.
Moms are eating. Babies are napping.
I took these photos before it started raining again.
A cute blue-eyed lilac lamb. This is on the “keep” list. Meridian Catalyst x Shadow Mountain Shelby.
Meridian Hot Lips with triplets also sired by Catalyst.
Meridian Sophia with BFL-x triplets.
Meridian Sonata with triplets sired by bide a wee Buster.
Ears and her crossbred lambs.
Meridian Estelle also with crossbred lambs.
Meridian Ruth. Lambs sired by Catalyst.
And while we’re at it let’s throw in another springtime photo.
The wisteria has started to bloom.
It’s still a little wet in these fields and I’m leery of causing soil compaction, but I really wanted to get the sheep out yesterday.
The ewes and lambs are in one field.
The pregnant ewes are in another pasture.
This is Esmerelda, happy to be grazing green grass.
Here is an indicator of a ewe that is ready to lamb–all the other sheep went to the pasture after three months locked in the barn and she chooses to stay inside.
Sure enough! Foxglove had lambs a few hours later.
Take a look at the horns on her ram lamb.
Photos taken in the barn last night with my phone.
These are the pregnant ewes and a couple of wethers (including that very freckled one in the middle).
Photos over the lambing pens:
Mae’s lambs born yesterday.
Marilla and her BFL-x lamb born yesterday…in motion…in the dark.
Skye and her twins also from yesterday.
Sonata’s lambs, born yesterday.
Windy Acres Bronagh and lambs, born during the night, which is one reason I was taking photos…waiting for lambs.
Bide a wee Hallie and her lambs, a few days old.
This is the list so far except for Bronagh.
Every year I put together a Flock List for the Farm Club members. This includes photos and a little information about each sheep (and dog and other characters) on the farm. I like to get current photos of each sheep and I’ll share a few here. Shearing Day is in just a month so they are in almost full fleece. I’ll have to get before and after shots of them as well.
Two almost 2-year-olds, Honey and Zinnia.
Marilla, a 2016 lamb, and her mother, Marilyn.
This photo was taking during the summer of two of the sheep I bought from flocks in Oregon. That is Kenleigh’s Sheena on the left and Shadow Mountain Shelby on the right. I found this photo while I was looking for another. It is a good example showing a lilac ewe (right) and a black and white ewe.
Most sheep eyes.
Some of the lilac sheep have striking blue eyes