Farm babies


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We’ve had a sort of crazy past week. We were getting ready to head off to Boston and cheer my husband on at the Marathon, when Saturday afternoon, what should we stumble across in the sheep pen but our very first lamb! Henna is a yearling, so she was a very confused mom. At first things were a bit scary, because she was refusing to nurse the lamb. We had to pen them together, and milk Henna and then feed her daughter. I decided not to go to Boston, because obviously someone needed to stay and milk Henna and ensure Lucky was eating. But sometime the next day, around noon, Henna finally figured it all out and began nursing Lucky on her own. She began to bond hard – to be protective and to nurture her baby. It was so thrilling to witness. I left my very helpful sister in charge of the farm, and headed off to Boston on Sunday night.

Later that night, my sister called me to tell me when she’d checked the sheep, they were all congregated at the gate bahhing and crowding her. As she walked along, they stuck close to her side and continued talking loudly. Now – we have Icelandic sheep, and that is still a rather wild breed, and our herd is no exception. They scatter when people come near and they avoid human contact as much as possible. It’s actually a bit irritating. But Icelandic’s have only been kept domestically in very recent years. So you can understand how this was totally unprecedented behavior on the sheep’s part. As it turned out, Lucky had managed to escape from the maternity pen and was separated from her mother. The two were distraught and frantic to reunite. As soon as my sister scooped the little lamb up and returned her to her mother, the sheep all quieted down and scattered, which is their norm.

I thought this was SUCH an amazing example of the community animals have amongst themselves. Its quite amazing.

My husband ran the marathon, despite the heat, and he finished, which was a feat itself considering how incredibly hot it was on Marathon Monday this year. I wish I had some pictures of him crossing the finish, but unfortunately all the pictures I have are of him cloistered in the center of a pack of other people. Anyway, we rushed home Monday night, not sure of when the next farm birth would take place. Turns out it was Wednesday. First, our goat Sweetpea gave birth to a little girl, whom Grace promptly named Rosemary.

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Then Annie Oakley went into labor with the second lamb to be born on the farm. Annie had a difficult time of it and the labor went on for a long time. We could tell this lamb was quite large for an Icelandic. My husband eventually had to help pull the lamb out while I struggled to hold Annie still. She, of course, was trying to bolt as this was all going on. My husband and I both thought the lamb was dead, but it did revive after my husband blew on its face. It was the first boy, and he was huge! We think he weighed around 9 lbs. My sister named him Tank. Both Tank and his half-sister Lucky have the wool coloring of their father, Sundance. (And let me just add, this totally unflattering picture does not do the situation justice: I was truly straining to keep Annie contained and still, and my husband had a very hard time getting Tank out.)

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We still have at least 3 more sheep that are pregnant, maybe 4. The others are probably due in June, so we may be at a birth reprieve for a little while. We also may have one more pregnant goat, but we aren’t sure. It’s so exciting having the babies running around, though! We are all completely loving it.

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One Response to Farm babies

  1. Cindy says:

    So exciting!!!!!!

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