A canola field and barn in the smokey Flathead Valley…
A wheat field and barn…
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We’ve had our first taste of Spring this year! Finally, the four Suffolk ewes we had bred last fall lambed. They were all a week later than expected but it worked out wonderfully as the week they were due we had temperatures 20 to 30 below zero with lots of snow. The temperatures have shifted to the high 30’s and low 40’s, a bit better for lambing in. Smart mamas!
The first ewe to lamb was Garrett’s ewe, Velma. She had no problems and lambed in front of a large audience, giving birth to a large, single, ram lamb
The next ewe to lamb was Teigen’s ewe, Cookie, she is a yearling and it was her first time lambing. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning she gave birth. When I went to check the ewes in the morning, Teigen’s ewe was out standing with a little lamb beside it and then my eye caught a little lump in the snow. When I went closer I found another lamb, I thought she was dead and then she moved just a bit…wow…made me go into hyper-drive. She was sooo cold, cold mouth, body, etc. I couldn’t believe she was still alive. She had the full spa treatment…warm water soak while in a garbage sack to retain all of the mama’s smells, tubed with mama’s milk, then on to a warming box with a hairdryer, and eventually a warm rice sock on the belly and she gradually came to life. She started to nuzzle and looking for something to eat and drank most of her bottle…
And as things typically go in our house, the recycling had just been taken out and the only bottle we could find was a 2 liter bottle! But it did the trick…
The kids have affectionately named her Elsa from the movie Frozen. Elsa, eventually tried out her little legs and then did some more snuggling with the rice sock. When she woke up and she was hungry and her temperature was back to normal, so she was reunited with mom and brother. The mom ended up taking her back no problems, let her nurse and all is well!
The next one to lamb was Maddie’s ewe, Wild…
Again with a full audience hanging out in the feed bunk…
The second little ewe lamb was having a bit of trouble breathing so I was busy using a nasal syringe to help clear the mucous from her throat.
A nice set of twins, one ram and one ewe!
Garrett and Emmy watching…
Then Sunday morning we were greeted with this…
A strong, healthy ewe lamb. Dried off and had a full belly!
Now we have a few weeks off until the Icelandics start their run. Which will mean long days and short nights. But I look forward to it all year! Hopefully the Icelandics have as good of a run as the Suffolks did.
Last years bottle lamb, Frosty, decided to give Hayden a little smooch…
So thankful for strong, young backs, especially in this heat to haul hay…in a pickup without an air conditioner. Bleck!!
We were blessed with a brilliant sunset too…
Echo and Ewecalyptus; twin, moorit, grey, horned, one winter ewe lambs, decided they could both eat out of the same spot in the feeder….
It’s not unusual to have a couple mashed together in one spot and all appeared well so I continued with morning chores. About 45 minutes later ended up running back up to the barn with boys to help them feed the ewes and lambs in jugs. I noticed these two still in the same spot…yep stuck! Thankfully they didn’t seem to upset about the whole thing. Sawyer had to help me unlatch the panels and play untangle the sheep for a few minutes. Once freed they took off bucking and kicking, excited to be loose.
We’ve been using these round bale feeders for a couple of months and seem to work great, especially for polled sheep and have only had a few minor altercations with the horned ewes. They keep the sheep off the bale so they aren’t pooing and peeing on top of the hay. The feeders extend the life of the bale (for us) from 3 days to 5 without any loss in body condition in the ewes. They really do help from wasting hay. We ended up with lots of round bales this year so trying to figure out how to use them efficiently and safely has been quite the challenge. We only have two of these feeders which are in the ewes pen. We put a round bale in with the rams and they ate a whole through the bale which then collapsed on top of them killing one. Urgh! So now we put the bale on the ground and take the wrap off if it and then push it over on its side. So far so good. What a juggling act trying to find that balance.
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"For heaven's sake (and for the Earth's), let's get it together. Get out there! Listen! The wild places will fill you up. Let them." Walkin' Jim Stoltz, 1953 - 2010
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