Thursday, April 30, 2009


Immaculate Conception???

I think not. However, for a brief moment, I wondered.

This is the story of the shepherdess that decided not have lambs this year. Now that I am working full time, off of the farm, it would not be a wise idea to actually breed sheep and have lambs coming into the world when I would not be there to catch them.

In anticipation of this, we did not keep an 'in tact' ram. All of our ram lambs were "whethered", or more clearly put, castrated. We did this last spring at shearing time. However, in the fall, we did notice that one of the rams (Yoda) seemed to be a bit more endowed than we expected of a castrated ram lamb. Huh? What to do? So, we called our trusty vet. After examination, she said that she thought that the castration did not fully "take" and one side seemed to have developed. Needless to say, poor Yoda, we had her "finish the job". She was quite certain that there was "little to NO" chance that he had been "busy". It was comforting to hear her say that the original procedure, "mostly likely" (those were the words that I should have listened too) did so much damage to the cords that he would not be viable.

Well, we had a long and relaxing winter secure with this knowledge.

Then, just about two months ago, I was feeding the sheep and I noticed that one of the ewe's had a swollen udder...... Mastitis? I made a mental note and on my way back to the house it dawned on me... maybe ....???? So, I turned around and went back to examine her more closely. No, there was nothing wrong with her udder... it was just FULL OF MILK!!!!!!!!!! Oh my!

Secretly I was thinking well, it will be nice to have a lamb... one pregnant sheep will not be too much worry...... and, also I was thinking ...."good for Yoda". He has amazing genetics and I can use one more luscious fleece.... so we began keeping an eye on Della... after a week or so, for whatever reason, I thought to take another, closer, look around the barnyard... Low and behold, I noticed another swollen udder, then another and another. It appeared that Yoda had been quietly, discreetly busier than we anticipated.

Long story short, we had 10 lambs born on our farm this spring. They are all gorgeous. Each birth, with one exception, was easy easy easy.... all of the lambs are beautiful.

We had some pretty long nights, well, the truth is that Nancy had some long nights, checking on the sheep two or three times. We had wonderful friends and family come and check on things while we were at work....

Having lambs is much like giving birth yourself. Once it is over with, you forget the angst and exhaustion ... There is nothing like a barnyard of leaping lambs.

Enjoy the spring!!!!


KathyB. said...

This gave me a good laugh! Not one, but TEN!!!! That Yoda made good use of his brief reproductive life..and now he gets to enjoy playing with his lambs! A nice life for him....

Hilary said...

Now for photos...I know a friend of yours who has LOTS.

Eulalia (Lali) said...

I had already heard about your unexpected spring crop, from a couple of different sources--word gets around quickly in these parts. But you tell it wonderfully, and it's good to read you again.