Friday, February 18, 2011

Lambing is Early This Year

Corriedale mama Sarah with baby Helen, looking stylish is her lamb sweater!

We used to lamb in January and early February here at Serenity Farms. I'm not really sure why, except that's what my folks always did ;) And truth be told, I didn't mind early morning barn checks. I never woke the girls up in the middle of the night to check for lambing...I made my last check after supper sometime and unless someone appeared to be getting ready to lamb, left them alone until morning. My mom always said that if you wake them up, they'll probably lamb!

Anyway, one day my husband asked me why we lambed that early? We aren't breeding for club lambs or early freezer lamb sales. LOL...he brought up a good point. So we began to breed for first of April. And I have to admit, its been nice. Last year, though, we finally had to sell our senior ram to a head up a new flock. It was time - we had to many ewes closely related to him. But my dad had the idea of putting him in with just a few females and get a few more lambs from the big guy. Another good idea and we did just that, putting Autry in with the five ewes he had always crossed the best with in the flock. Then he left and about 40 days later, we turned the new Corriedale ram in with all of the girls and figured that if Autry hadn't settled those five, the new ram would.

Well, along comes January and then it turns really cold in February. And I'm really glad we aren't lambing. Until last Monday, when I headed for the barn to do chores and heard a lamb baaa-ing!!! My first thought was a premature birth, but when I stepped in and found a beautiful full term lamb following her mama around - one of Autry's "girls" - I promptly remembered our grand plan. Oh my gosh...did I ever feel like a terrible shepherd!!! So, my daughter came to help me out and we moved those five ewes (plus new baby Helen) into the large, clean and dry area of the basement barn and, other than not having them shorn yet, everything is fine. Yesterday, a second set of lambs arrived - fabulous twins, a bright white ram and jet black ewe lamb!

They are all doing great, but I'm still glad that most of the flock isn't due till April...

We will be shearing the entire flock mid-March, but I have one partial Corriedale lamb fleece from last years shearing that I guess I will sell. It is a beautiful, silver-blue, very fine crimp with an average 4.5 to 5-inch staple length from a lamb named Felicia. There are some dry tips that I think you can see in the photo below. A little over two pounds for $25 plus shipping (a discount, as our lamb fleeces are normally $15 per pound) Email me at if you are interested

Did I mention that I'm still glad most of the flock isn't due till April? And I wonder what else I might have forgotten....