One Special Sheep

I’ve had tame sheep before, but not like Jade. I always bring her out when we have field trips and let her loose with the kids.

She stands still when kids are all around as long as she is being petted. She lets people touch her horns when I tell them to feel how the horns are warm at the base and cool at the top.

Jade and Lisa-13               Now I find out that she likes watching videos with friends.Jade and Lisa-16             “Don’t you like watching videos with friends?”Jade and Lisa-15

Jade and Lisa-20              “Yes Jade, you have nice white teeth.”

Jade and Lisa-22              “You too, Lisa”

Jade and Lisa-24

Advertisements

Farm Days

Farm Club members have spent time here during lambing and helped with cleaning, lamb ID, etc. And of course there is always lamb cuddling.IMG_5547                  Farm Club is a great way to learn about raising sheep before you invest in sheep or if you won’t ever have the lifestyle that lets you own a sheep.

IMG_5548             Zorra had plenty of cuddling while she was still in the lambing area with her mom. Lisa is a lamb cuddling Pro.IMG_5550                 This is pet sheep Jade’s lamb (and me).

IMG_5670                                                   This is her again being held by Peggy. We’d really like her to be friendly too.

IMG_5672               This is Zorra again with Sumi.

Betsy and lamb-3                                                   As the lambs get a little older we have other Farm Days. This was Betsy’s first day on the farm and she jumpred right in holding lambs as we ear tagged and castrated. 18042                         I don’t castrate many because it’s hard to know how they will grow out and which might be a great flock sire for someone. Some are easy though–too much or too little color to fit within the 15-85% breed standard. This one’s horns are already touching at the base under that hair. As the horns grow they will fuse and not grow well separately.Marina and lamb-3                                          Marina and Maggie (no photo) helped catch lambs too and Mary handled the clipboard. The lambs were all tagged with their white ID tags right after they were born but we put added a colored tag on Farm Day. I like to use a second tag for back-up ID if the first one falls out and also to color code the sire. It’s interesting to keep track of that and it also helps to find a lamb when you’re looking for one among 75. You can narrow it down some if you have a color to look for.DSC_9172                This year Cayenne’s lambs got orange tags. Pink tags go in all the lambs that have been castrated.

DSC_9183                         Green means these are Buster’s lambs.DSC_9189                          Blue was for Catalyst.

18013            Peyton’s lambs are obvious so don’t need an extra tag.

Orchardgrass-3-2             After we tagged all the lambs Marina and Betsy stayed to help me set up the pasture for the sheep. I had put the sheep out for a few days but hadn’t cleaned and moved the water trough.

Orchardgrass-2-2               We walked around the pasture and took stock of things. I always point out the issue that I have with the dallisgrass that is out of control. That’s what all that dry grass is. I’d much rather see green grass growing. The whole pasture was looking somewhat dismal from a growth standpoint. At this point we had just had March rain after two very dry and cold months. I wasn’t seeing much growth–at least not enough to feed 55 ewes and 75 lambs. unknown grass-2               We spotted this grass that I don’t recognize.unknown grass-11                     I took photos to send to a friend of Marina’s who she think might recognize it.

Thanks Farm Club!

Red Barn Reflections

I was in the right place at the right time for these shots. I can’t decide which I like best. Well, I think I have it narrowed to three or four…or six. I haven’t edited much other than straightening and a little cropping. I could do a lot with the color, but I hesitate to change things to what doesn’t look as natural to me. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you have a favorite?

DSC_8677-2DSC_8685-2DSC_8719-2DSC_8720-2DSC_8732-2DSC_8734-2DSC_8737-218068-2-2DSC_8894-2DSC_8902-2

I could have also titled this “One of these things is not like the other.” Did you see it?

I’ll be working with these photos more and will do some editing to see how that goes.

Lambs #56 and #57

Lambing seems like it was a long time ago now, but this was only 2-1/2 weeks ago.

Jade and lambs                    Jade is the biggest pet sheep here. 18056-18057                      She had a ewe and a ram lamb.

Jade and lambs-2                   At that point I had overflow pens set up in the alley of the barn.

Lambing gets exhausting and you have to get your sleep when you can.IMG_5517                      I think I slept some here and then was woken up.IMG_5518

IMG_5520                  It looks as though Sunny is getting sleepy here. But I’m awake.

While we’re thinking about getting cozy on the couch…IMG_5530              My son works as an EMT and he is often gone at night. The “puppies”, who live next door, get invited in our house if they are barking too much. They have no qualms about cuddling on the couch, something our dogs don’t get to do.Jade-18056            Back to Jade. Here she is with one of her lambs at 2-1/2 weeks old.

 

Bronagh Lambing

While I’m working in the barn I often take photos of the lambing process–partly to amuse myself and partly to use as a resource when new sheep raisers ask about the lambing experience. It is useful to know how much time there is between seeing a ewe in labor and when lambs are born, time between deliveries of twins, time it takes for a lamb to start nursing. There are wide variations in these figures, but I like to be able to show a “real-life” scenario.

This is a ewe named Windy Acres Bronagh who lambed a week ago.Bronagh lambing-1                   I saw her at about 7 a.m. and knew that she was in labor. The first sign of labor is often just behavior. You have to know what normal behavior looks like to know when something is different. I spend a lot of time looking at my sheep.Bronagh lambing-2                   A more obvious sign is seeing the sac emerge when the ewe has contractions. Bronagh lambing-3                  The first lamb was born about 7:20 and I brought the lamb inside the barn.Bronagh lambing-4                   It sometimes takes much longer before the second lamb is born, but this one was coming within five minutes.Bronagh lambing-7

Bronagh lambing-8                     That’s the first lamb getting up within ten minutes of birth.

Bronagh-lambs-4

Bronagh-lambs-7

Bronagh lambing-10            Both lambs were nursing within a half hour.IMG_5464                 This is the lamb board. These lambs were #49 and 50.

18050-5                       This is one of the lambs one week later.