Our unbelievably good, summer-like weather has continued; we topped out in the eighties today! On March 21st! And there’s no sign of a letup. Things are supposed to be really nice all the way into next week.
Fortunately, the sheep are continuing to take advantage of the warm temperatures by delivering their lambs now. (Obviously the deliveries are timed by the gestation period and not by weather, but it’s a very fortunate coincidence.) The third of our ten ewes lambed this morning; she had male and female twins, but the male was stillborn. The female appears very healthy, and by late afternoon was already out and exploring the barnyard.
And, much to her mother’s consternation, had also figured out how to get on the wrong side of the fence that separates the sheep from the goats:
With a little intervention from the Yeoman Farmer, things were again put right:
Mother and lamb are happy.
And so is the whole Yeoman Farm Family.
Early lambing continues on the farm, as we had a wonderful early-morning suprise in the barn at chore time:
The lamb is a singleton, and she is HUGE. By the time I arrived, she’d been on her feet and licked nearly dry. She’s the first lamb ever born to this particular mother (a name for whom we have yet to decide on), who was herself born very late in the spring of 2010. Last year was a little too early for her to lamb, so she seems to have “saved it up” and given us a really nice little girl now.
I managed to catch this shot of the three generations:
Mom is nearest, nuzzling her lamb. Grand-damme Biancha is in the background, chewing cud.
Spring doesn’t technically arrive until next week, but we’ve been reveling in several straight days of unseasonably warm weather. And when I say warm, I mean warm: highs in the seventies every day since Wednesday, and it’s supposed to continue well into next week.
For those of us who brace for typically frigid Michigan winters, this balmy streak has been a wonderful gift. We even fired up the grill this evening, and enjoyed a dinner of lamb steaks (with potatoes from last year’s garden, and some cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day).
Speaking of lambs, they decided to come a little early this year as well. Enigma surprised us this evening with twins, a male and a female:
Enigma was a triplet, and one of the first lambs ever born to us. She was the product of Dot (the flock matriarch who passed away on Good Friday last year
) and a magnificent ram. She’s our second-oldest ewe (and, come to think of it, our second-oldest animal of any type), so we’re not sure how many more lambs she’ll produce. She tends to do an outstanding job of mothering, and hopefully her female will grow up to be a replacement breeder.
I love Spring!