Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's Lambing Time! - Part 1

I was working outdoors one day when a neighbor stopped by with her dog to say hello. She told me that her sheep were expected to give birth pretty much all at once during the following week, and invited me to stop by. So I waited a week and paid her a visit. She walked me out to the barn, wondering aloud if there had been any new births in the hour since she'd been there last. I pointed to this little lamb and and she said, "Yep, that's a new one:"

The little thing was less than an hour old and still covered with afterbirth. It would be difficult to find an animal any cuter:

There was another, smaller pen with several ewes and several lambs:

And I got to hold a black lamb:

The barn cat was comfortable on a pile of hay and could barely be bothered to look up as we walked around:

She said that most of her sheep were Katahdins, a "hair sheep" which does not bear wool. Instead, they shed their coats yearly, requiring no shearing. She also had Tunis and some other wool breeds, though, and those required shearing:

We stopped in at a larger pen, filled with adult sheep but no lambs. Most of the ewes, however, were pregnant and lambs were expected at any time:

In fact, one mama and her baby were in a small pen, sectioned off from the rest of the flock:

Many of the shorter haired Katahdin sheep looked like goats to me. The Tunis sheep had white wool on their bodies, but golden colored, short haired heads with floppy ears. You can see one in this photo:

The sheep were indoors because the outdoor areas were so very muddy:

There was a variety of colors and patterns. This one, I noticed, had polka dotted ears. But there was still more to see, so I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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