The ram lambs born in March should have been separated a couple of months ago. I am hoping that they were not really mature enough to show any interest in breeding the little girls and that the girls were not mature enough to come into heat and be bred. I saw no action whatsoever, but that does not mean much. The only lambs born in March were the Southdown Babydoll rams and ewe lambs. The rest of the flock lambed late into the summer. At any rate, it was definitely time to separate those little boys from the girls. I took advantage of having Travis home from camp and asked for his help to carry the lambs across from one pen to the other. There were 9 ram lambs in total and an almost equal number of ewe lambs. The youngest are very small, born to the Shetland/Barbados ewe and the Karakul/Shetland ewe. Although tiny, Shetland lambs are vigorous and robust and they were the hardest to catch. A livestock panel was finally set in place and the lambs cornered inside it. The one that was too heavy to carry was moved by straddling him and holding his horns, then prodding him along slowly. The horns of young sheep are quite delicate and if injured bleed tremendously, so it is best to no use them as handles and never hold only one at a time. Finally, the ram lambs were settled with the big rams, who at first were curious, but after a short while, let them alone and went back to the most serious business of eating. One of the little Icelandic rams is very handsome and strong with extremely soft wool and should be kept for breeding next year. The fate of the other boys is sad. They will be raised for lamb meat, but raised with love and kindness and the best care they can have, plus they will get to live as sheep do and enjoy their lives. The females will be bred, mostly the following year, except the Meriono girls, who are large enough to be bred this winter. Now, the next move with the sheep is to asses them for the worm load and worm if necessary, trim any wayward hooves and ensure they have enough shelter to stay out of the blizzards of wind and snow that come in the northern winters here. Then the rams will be turned out with the mature ewes for the last week in November and the process will start all over again next year. Some ewes and their lambs were sold this year and a few more will be sold next year. The flock is best at no more than 20 sheep in total and the number this year is 10 higher than that, so some of the lambs and two ewes and a mature ram are for sale. Lovely little gaffers, the lambs are.
Fluffy writes daily about the experiences on the farm and with the bed and breakfast patrons.