Saturday, April 28, 2007

Final Lamb Arrivals

On Thursday Salem delivered the final lambs for the year here at Locksley Fields. I had been anxious for Salem to lamb all spring since last year Salem had lambs with tangled legs. It was a terrible way to end the season- with my first internally assisted delivery in all the years I’d been raising shetlands. Things went badly, partly due to my not realizing I was trying to pull two lambs simultaneously. They didn’t make it. The fact that Salem would lamb last this year as well seemed cruel , but fortunately she didn’t need my help and gave birth all by herself. She has the sweetest black ewe lamb and a handsome moorit ram with a star on his forehead.
It was definitely a ewe year, with twice as many girls as boys. The total was 21 lambs: 14 ewes and 7 rams. However, there will be 20 lambs raised here. Long story short, I had a ewe reject a lamb at 3 days old. Perhaps I petted him after handling Salem’s lambs on Thursday and transferred an odd smell to him? She did know she had two, because once he was removed, she got upset. However, after returning the little guy, she pushed him away. I questioned whether I could adequately take care of a bottle baby this year due to the time involved (and my lack of it lately!), so, as guilty as I felt, I think I made the right decision. He has gone home with Allena and family (of Three Ring Ranch) in hopes that their ewe whose newborn lambs died would adopt him. We hope that things will work out for everyone!

<--- Is this why my shoelaces are always untied?
First three photos are all Salem's lambs.

Photo below: Dawsen’s girl was intent on putting her head through the fence and trying to chew the ears of her next door neighbors who were trying to rest.. One of Myst’s girls decided that "two can play this game" and began mouthing back- which is what you see here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Busy night lambing and.....Wow!!

Alright, I'll show you what the "wow" is all about first, and then tell the story:-) These are Myst's new spotted moorit girls!
Monday was a busy day for lambing. As I put Dawsen and her lambs into a pen, I noticed that Myst was the only ewe in the barn and by evening, it was clear that Myst was planning on giving birth. Knowing how long it sometimes takes these girls to go through the first stage of the birth process (despite what the books say, shetlands start giving us hints that they're uncomfortable in this stage!), so I went into the house and got some work done. Half past midnight I went out to the barn, turned the lights on, glanced at moms and babies, and zoomed in on Myst. I didn't even notice the obvious at first and really think I did a double take because I wasn't expecting a different ewe to be giving birth! Cachey already had water bags hanging out and was attempting to dig an enormous hole in the bedding. I really should be used to this by now, but I get anxious when I see them straining and no progress. After a trip inside to check the lambing book and some more waiting, Cachey had both lambs: one ram with giant hornbuds and one ewe, both muskets! I like the musket color and usually I don't get many of them- although this year they seem to be popping up. In the meantime, Myst had left the barn. By the time I finished with Cachey and her lambs it was 2 AM. I made the decision to sleep for an hour and check on Myst at 3, to give her more time and space in case my presence was causing a delay. When I came back to the barn at 3 AM, I saw that patience had paid off... Myst had already given birth to these two amazing girls! A moorit yuglet flecket- one of the flashiest lambs I've had- and a cute moorit yuglet sokket. Got to sleep at 4 AM... This is one tired shepherdess.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More lamb photos

It's a duet performed by the spotty moorit boys... Aren't they cool? These are Hopper's rams and it's not too hard to see that apart from color and markings they don't look much alike! Hawthorne, the guy on the left is more typical looking for my flock.. I think his brother with the tight crimpy fleece looks more like a U.K. lamb!

This is Braeton with her twin moorit girls by Jerome. The one on the right has a nice white lion's mane :-) Need some nice moorit girls carrying spots?

I had planned to also get photos of Taryn's cute little girls, but Hopper's boys kept posing for me and I ran out of pictures.

Below is one of Kaya's girls.. She has such a sweet face and loves attention. She's available too!

Dawsen's lambs

Dawsen had these twin black lambs waiting for me when I got home today. One ram and one ewe. They are sired by Rosario.
More lambs are expected this week.. Just 3 ewes left to lamb!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The sun finally came out, so I had a chance to take some photos of the lambs. Above, all five of this year's Tornado lambs are pictured. The same lambs are also in the photo below. They've discovered that the logs make a nice playground.

To the left is Briar's moorit ewe.

These two cuties are Fable's black ram and Limmerick's daughter, Lumina.

One of Kaya's girls. Looks just like her mom!

The other of Kaya's girls. She is the most spoiled lamb so far.

Still in the "nursery": Hopper's boys pictured above and 3 other groups!

Here comes another one!

Although officially due on Thursday, Edelweiss wouldn't come to the feed troughs when the grain was distributed Tuesday morning, so I knew something was up. She was going through the routine: pawing at the floor/bedding, sitting down, stretching out, getting back up only to start digging and repeat it all over again. At about 1 PM I went back out to check on her and she was in labor and pushing hard. She was pretty quiet though- unlike Hopper! Shetlands seem to prefer giving birth laying down and Edelweiss went so far over that she had trouble getting flipped back over when the lamb was out! I don't think she even realized it, because she walked about 6 feet with her back toward the new lamb. I ran in there, just to make sure the lamb's nose was clear, and when Edelweiss still stood at a distance (unusual for my sheep- moms always get right in there immediately) I decided to quickly make an exit and let her figure it out. For about 90 seconds, I held my breath while Edelweiss stared at the lamb. She then walked slowly to her, sniffed her head, tenatively licked her face, then decided "this lamb tastes good!" and assumed her full role as mommy :-) The newest GIRL is yet another moorit.

These are a couple of the "ladies in waiting" who have yet to lamb! Cachey, the grey ewe on the right is due next Wednesday, but Dawsen's due date is unknown.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Spots Have Arrived!

I was hoping for a break from lambing. However, this morning when I arrived in the barn, Hopper was sitting in the lambing preparation spot looking uncomfortable. For some reason, most of the ewes choose this place to go into prelabor. Sure enough, Hopper was planning on lambing, it was just I matter of *when*. I let a few of the ewes and lambs out of their pens for the first time and played with a few lambs... Still no signs of getting closer for Hopper, so I decided to eat lunch. When I came back to the barn half an hour later, I could hear ominous moaning. Hopper was pushing and I could see a nose, but she was not making progress despite the horrible bellering. It's difficult to hear any of the sheep make such dreadful sounds, but Hopper is also one of my favorites, so I was feeling extra anxious. After a few minutes I decided I'd try to help and discovered NO feet, just the nose. I had another ewe who delivered this way two years ago and from that experience I had found that it was nearly futile to push the head back in as some of the lambing books recommended. So, (cringe), I was going to do what I could to... yes, pull him out by his head. While Hopper was pushing, I worked on getting his head out enough that I could pull.. With his head head out, I inched him forward while Hopper vocalized how not fun this was. The shoulders seemed a bit stuck, so I tried rotating him a little and also managed to get a foot forward. A few more light pulls and he was out! Hopper didn't realize what had happened at first, but as she sat down I place her newborn next to her, and she immediately began licking him. A few short minutes later, the pushing and moaning ensued. This lamb at least had one foot forward, so he was no problem to help deliver. I placed him next to his brother and their mom nuzzled and licked them both (while I pulled out my camera to sneak in some shots of the new family). These twin rams are moorit yuglet sokkets by SheltrgPines Jerome. Photo to the side is Hopper, on Saturday, before lambing. She's been huge for the past few weeks.

The count is now 4 boys and 8 girls!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Taryn had me nervous as she spent most of Saturday "thinking" about lambing and finally gave birth to these two nice little moorit girls by ShetlrgPines Jerome. They are friendly already!
There are so many moorit ewe lambs now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More lambs!

I was happy to find my oldest ewe, Fletcher Limmerick with this speckled musket girl, up and nursing, when I arrived in the barn this morning. I don't currently have any musket sheep and Limmerick seemed to know just what I wanted from probably her final lambing. Although she's 11 years old, Limmerick stayed in great condition with the same care as the rest of the ewes all year. I'm sure that she could lamb another couple years, but at this point, the demands on my time are a little much to try for extra sheep care options. I think this little girl is just perfect and will likely be one of my keeper lambs this year. I know they're not that popular, but I like my greys/faders and I think the "speckled" colorations are always pretty. I happen to have a couple of grey ewes who produce lovely silky long fleeced lambs. This lamb seems to be no exception- her coat is already over 3/4 inch long, very curly and it shines! She's the first lamb from LocksField Rosario, my handsome moorit blettet ram.

When I got home, I found that LocksField Braeton had lambed. I thought, "oh another nice moorit girl" and went to the house to change into barn clothes.. When I came back out, I did a double take because there were now two lambs. Braeton looked thin enough after the first, that I thought she was done. Good thing my girls don't really need my assistance :-). The second is also a moorit ewe, with a bit more white on her head than her sister. These are some of the first SheltrgPines Jerome lambs. I can already see the difference in wool types. These two girls have shorter, tighter fleeces than most of the other lambs. First two photos are Limmerick's ewe and last is Braeton licking her girls clean.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First Lambs This Year

On Monday evening, Briar and Kaya lambed almost simultaneously- Kaya with twin moorit ewes and Briar with just one little moorit girl.This morning I went outside to find Fable with new twin rams, one moorit and one black. This concludes the arrival of all of the Tornado lambs this year. His lambs were all born within about 12 hours! As usual, the moms are doing a good job of lambing without my help and taking taking great care of their babies.

I took some photos, but due to the flash from the camera, I had difficulty getting any without glowing eyes. It's cold and rainy here, so the new families are confined to the barn.
The lamb count is now 3 girls and 2 boys. There are 9 ewes left to lamb, so stay tuned!

The first 2 photos are Kaya's lambs, next is Briar's girl (to the right) and below are Fable's boys.

P.S. If you're interested in lambs, and see someone you'd like, drop me an email at Many of this year's lambs are for sale and can be reserved early.