We had two personal farm records broken today:
1) The earliest lambs ever born to us; and
2) Maybelle didn’t deliver them. Licorice did.
Our breed of sheep, Icelandics, only come into heat during the cool months of the fall. They have a roughly five month gestation, so that means lambs are only born in the spring. Commercial meat breeds have been developed to come into season at all different times of the year, which allows commercial lamb to come to market all year. We prefer our heritage breed, which follows the natural flow of the seasons. Anyway, I suspect we got an early lambing this year because last fall was so unusually cool. They must’ve come into heat early. And judging from the enormous size of several of our other ewes, the rest of the spring lamb crop won’t take long to get here.
Maybelle has always been our first to lamb, but she’s never delivered before the last few days of March. Most of our lambs are usually born in April. I just hope we don’t get another nasty cold snap right in the middle of the other lambs’ arrivals.
Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day for a lambing today. 55 degrees and sunny. It won’t last, but we’re sure enjoying it while its here.
For the record, both lambs born today are males. They’re doing great — up quickly, getting licked off, and one was already trying to nurse. Licorice has been known to triplet; if she does have another surprise for us later, I’ll update this post.
One ewe down. Eight more to go.