Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Until Next Year - A Lambing Update

Well, another lambing season has come and gone and I thought it time to update for those of you who check here for that sort of thing.   We have a pasture full of beautiful Corriedale lambs!

As is likely to happen, the weather didn't cooperate with our plans.   In an effort to get lambs born and growing well during the colder months (when the air is cold but dry and the ground is frozen, not wet and muddy) before going out to pasture we bred earlier than usual for us, planning to lamb from the end of February through March.  But the combination of an older ram who maybe wasn't settling his ewes like he should have and much warmer than ever recorded Michigan temperatures we ended up with something of an odd "up and down" lambing season.

One of the bottle lamb triplets
All in all, though, we're happy.  You might remember we started very early with a pair of twin ewe lambs?  We ended the second week of April with another pair of twin ewe lambs!  We had only one set of triplets this year, thank goodness, but of all the ewes to have triplets it was "Sarah", who can't count past one as it is, to have three!  Sarah, though she gives us beautiful lambs, will not be part of our brood flock next year. 

Final count is 29 live lambs from 19 ewes, so 150%.  Even with those triplets, single births (again from the old ram) in the middle of the season brought our percentage down some.  My husband cares about these things, I care about thrifty colorful lambs, LOL!   That old ram gave us lovely lambs and we were lucky to have him for two seasons.  We'll keep some of his daughters in the flock.

This is Collette and her twin ewe lambs
Another nice number is 16 ewe lambs from that group of 29, much better than the high percentage of ram lambs born last year.  Some of very favorite "original" ewes from Mar-Rita Farms gave us ewe lambs that will most likely stay in the flock as their mothers are getting older and we want to keep those bloodlines going.  I've been spoiled all these years by these beautiful and amazing sheep, their wool and their mothering abilities.  This weekend I am going to check out some new bloodlines and especially a new ram prospect - I'm pretty excited about that.  I'll keep you posted!  In the meantime, as the sun sets on this years lambing season, here are some more photos ~

The good thing about this funny weather is that pastures were ready for sheep earlier than usual!  They have been enjoying good growth, but we have to watch them carefully and rotate quickly because regrowth is slow.  I just realized there aren't any pictures of the white lambs, but we do have some here!  I'll have to make a point of getting their portraits taken next.


kimbersglen said...

Love reading about what happens on the farm. Your sheep always bring a smile to my face whether looking at their pictures or spinning their wool.

Kathy W said...

So adorable! And... future fiber to look forward to!

Jody said...

Lovely dark lambs...Corriedale's are such attractive sheep. I once went to a farm where there was a huge Corriedale ram almost as big as me :-)

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Your little ones are so dang cute, Cary!