The past month has been a whirlwind of events. It started out very wet with lots of rain, which was fabulous for our newly spread grass seed, although not so great for the poor sheep with their fleeces still on them. Our lambing season was short, which is exactly how we wanted it! We had two little ram lambs who will have their forever home at White Rose Acres.
The first little lamb was born on a Sunday...
Jeri was giving a lockspinning class on the 13th at the shop, we got a text from our neighbor informing us that it looked as though one of our ewes, Britney, had her mucous plug coming out. We wrapped up the class, gathered our lambing gear, and headed to the lambing pasture to see what was happening. It was an incredibly rainy day, and chilly to top it off! While Mom threw some feed to the ram pasture to keep them occupied, I jogged down to the little lambing shelter, and when I peered in, sure enough Britney was definitely in labor. She was laying down and pushing slightly, when I looked closer I saw a pair of legs sticking out! Oh boy! My mom came down and said that I should check to make sure the lamb was coming out in the proper position. So, I put on my OB gloves to have a look, and there was a nose coming out! I helped the little lamb along and started warming him up. Surprise! It's a boy! Britney started nickering to him immediately and licking him off. The whole ordeal definitely took a lot of energy out of Britney since she's the oldest ewe at the farm, we gave her all the right vitamins and made sure she was as comfy as possible, but she looked tired. Due to the weather conditions, we decided it would be best to bring Britney and the lamb into our "ICU" pen. The ICU is a pen set up in the garage attached to the house so we can watch the sheep 24/7 and control the climate for them a little bit better than in one of the barns. It was an exciting Sunday to say the least! After a couple of days, we decided to name the lamb, Rocky Baaaaalboa, because he came out fighting! He may be small, but he is mighty.
Our second lamb had a less exciting birth story. The Tuesday after Rocky was born (March 15, my dad's birthday!), we were feeding the sheep after work/school. As Mom went to fill up the water tubs, I started walking to feed the ewe pasture. As I got closer to the barn, I noticed that we had a ewe who was hovering in the entryway. I thought that was strange because usually ALLL the sheep run to the fence when they see the food bucket show up. Then all of a sudden I notice stuff (the nice word for it all) hanging out her back end and a wet lamb trying to stand up beside her! "Oh my goodness, we have a lamb! Mom! Mom! Timi had a baby!" I quickly started herding the sheep away from the barn so that they didn't rush around the ewe and her lamb, feeding them along the farthest fence line. When I got back over to the barn our ewe, Timi, was licking off a BIG ram lamb that was already toddling around. We had known she was pregnant, but because of the size of her udder, we expected her to lamb 2-3 weeks after she really did. We took apart the creep area and modified it into a lambing pen, and moved the very food-motivated Mama and her babe into the pen and closed them in. Fresh water, a nice slice of hay, and some feed kept Timi happy while we checked over the baby and made sure he was healthy. She was a little bit annoyed when the ram lamb tried to nurse, because she didn't know what was going on as a first-time mom. We called my Dad and told him to bring straw over after work because we got him a birthday gift. That's how Richard II was born. He's a strong single lamb that continues to grow at an incredibly fast rate.
March 26 was our shearing day. It was a decently early start with the shears being turned on at 7:30am, but with a lot of coffee and the crisp air to keep us awake and moving, we finished around 12noon. All of our sheep got pedicures as well as their haircut. We have 18 full fleeces ready to be skirted and sent to the mill. Below are some photos of our shearing day.
So even though the month started gray and rainy, it ended sunny and green!
Also, here's a sneak peek of our flock yarns at the mill! Pictured below is our 3-ply DK weight Wensleydale, it looks so beautiful! Special thanks to our mill for doing such a wonderful job with our longwools.