Monday, January 3, 2011

Lamb Party at the Farm

This is always a fun time of year at the farm. Amidst being buried in snow and frozen to the core by the frigid temperatures, lambing begins. We lamb early so we have fresh sheep to work in the spring, and our setup allows the ewes and their lambs to have plenty of shelter and heat if they need it. This year, we discovered the joys of dog coats for the lambs to give the newborns a little extra cover. Here is a view of the mountains from the "ranchette" (the house barn/pasture), where all the ewes come to lamb.
We had a lamb boom last week... seven lambs one day, and about 6 more through the next couple days. Here are the new babies.
For those who are wondering, these are hair sheep (bred for meat production). They never grow wool, but rather hair which they shed every spring. Our sheep are a composite of Dorper, Katahdin and Barbado breeds, chosen to produce fast growing lambs with colorful coats which shed completely (some hair sheep keep some long hair through the summer... we select against this trait). We also select for lambing ease and prolificacy. So far this year, we have an amazing lamb crop! Big, robust lambs with tons of color, lovely bodies, and lots of bulk.
Really, though, aren't they just so cute? I mean really, could you resist that face?
This lamb is one of our favorites so far. She is about 2 weeks old, and is quite the big girl already.
Keli and Tag really wanted to come in to help.
Speaking of Tag, we got a little bit of training in today and man is she ever doing some lovely work! We did some contacts, all at full height... GORGEOUS!!! She is really comfortable with the aframe, both going straight and turning. She is awesome on the dogwalk, particularly straight but is starting to understand turns and is doing some lovely work on that front as well. She is increasingly confident on the teeter and is getting faster and faster. I am absolutely in awe of this puppy. I'll try to get videos tomorrow, but am not making any promises.

And the photo of the day... lots of lambs

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