We now have four new babies (lambs) they are all beautiful and unique in their own way. Having never had lambs before, it has been a really interesting time and I have noticed some interesting things;
First – Lambs seem to be born just before or during rain, all three of the babies were born on overcast, drizzly days (and there have been very few of those lately). I don’t know yet whether this is a fact or just luck of the draw, given the small sample size of the observations, but later years will tell me if I’m right.
Second – My girls guide each other through labour, the first girl to give birth; Kraken (she has a black spot), was alone. The other girls hung back and watched until the baby was born. The second girl; Snow White (obvious really) had Kraken by her side the whole time, licking her face and making encouraging little bleats. The third girl; Nut (and she is) had the other two mums to help her, but she went a bit weird after the birth and ran around and around the paddock like a maniac before coming back to feed her baby (which the other mums had cleaned for her). It seems to be a community event.
|This is Peridot, the girl cleaning her is Kraken and her mum; Snow White, is behind her.|
Third – The mums will feed each other’s babies. I noticed this with the first two babies; the lambs just go to the closest boob for a feed. I didn’t think sheep did this, but obviously I was wrong.
We have three boys and one girl so far and we can’t keep them all. We plan to keep Ramesses the First (our first born boy) as a wether to keep Stag (the ram) company in the lambing season. We will keep Peridot (our second born girl) as a breeding ewe. We can’t keep the new boys (no name yet) and we will be making them wethers too. I hate the idea of having to eat some of these babies one day, but it might come to that if I can’t find homes for them.
The mothers love their babies so much, and take such good care of them that it hurts my heart to think of taking those babies away. I have to burn the horn buds off Ramesses today and castrate the poor boy too, that will be quite enough torturing of children for one day I think.
Do you keep animals for meat? How do you reconcile the heart warming moments you observe with the eventual act of taking them away?
Does anyone want an automatic lawn mower and hedge trimmer in about three months time?
2 thoughts on “Lambs everywhere”
Wow. This is why I could not have lambs. It has been playing on my mind lately just how us humans tend to control our animals (I'm not saying you are by the way, your situation sounds lovely for those sheep) – but commercial farming etc. Horrible. Especially when you write about the mama sheep helping each other through birth and how they love their babies. So sweet and a bit sad too.
I know what you mean. I feel so horrible having to be the one who decides which ones live and which ones die; like I'm betraying their trust in me. We are so arrogant us humans. I think it's a different situation when we hunt them wild (for food only), then we are being honest about being a predator. I do love my girls and I wish that I could let them fulfill their biological imperatives without having to act as a predator to their children.