It is no secret that I love sheep. I love living around sheep. I love lambing, spring lambs everywhere and hearing all those lamb noises in the barn. I have been working towards this for over 7 months. The whole process started in the summer with a search for a new Icelandic ram. I ended up getting 3 new rams Cooper, Yetty and Ralph.
The original plan was to delay breeding until November, but our Black Welsh Mountain Sheep ram Hephaestus had other ideas. He broke the gate down, dismantled the fences and modified his housing so much that I could no longer stand between him and love. Hephaestus won, I lost and breeding started in early October. The Icelandic Sheep did not start breeding until November and some of our younger girls did not get pregnant until Christmas.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend 30 of our pregnant ewes had ultrasounds, only the Black Welsh ewes were over 30 days pregnant at that point (thanks to Hep). We were crazy happy with the results as we had lots of twins and even one triplet. Unfortunately the scan can only detect pregnancy after 30 days so the rest of the flock where not scanned. Knowing whether it is a single, twin or triplet helps me plan the last 6 weeks of feeding and this information will also help during lambing to know what to expect and ensuring all lambs are accounted for.
We reconfigured our barn by taking some of last year’s lessons learned by adding a few more lambing jugs and also doubling the size of the drop area (maternity ward). We added 7 new feeders in the barn to ensure that we keep their hay clean. The infrared cameras will be going back up shortly so we can monitor activity from the comfort of a heated house.
Two weeks ago we started feeding the goats as they are due to start kidding around February 15th. This week we started feeding the 1st ewes that will start lambing around March 1st. By the end of the 3rd week of March we should have 35 new babies bouncing around the barn. Lambing will continue until mid May.
We are hoping for lots of cute little ewe lambs this year, last year the majority of the lambs were rams.
Finally getting ready for lambing 2016 and all the chaos that goes with it. The lambing kit is packed and ready to go filled with all the essentials like gloves, iodine, feeding tubes, towels and vitamins. We will be posting our new babies on Instagram when we get time, so please hop on over to our photo gallery and have a look.