Lambs began arriving right on schedule on Thursday. Smoke went into labor early in the morning and had a big black boy in the corrals, as we were vaccinating the rest of the ewes. He is Perry’s son, so a half-Cormo half-Corriedale and he should have a beautiful fleece and be a nice sire.
Lambing generally starts slowly, and for a couple of days Smoke and her lamb were alone in the jugs. This morning Lolo checked the barn and again it seemed that no lambs had been born, but when he went to feed the group of ewes that we aren’t bringing into the barn yet, he was surprised by these two cuties, born to Nora, sometime in the night. They were a bit cold, but vigorous and had already been nursing. Oakley, our 3-year old protection dog, who is with a lambing group for the first time, was awesome, fiercely protecting the lambs and keeping ravens away. Nora was freaked out and we had a heck of a time catching her, and finally had to bring the whole group into the barn to get her into a jug with her lambs.
There were a couple of lessons here–our ultrasound data is not as accurate at predicting due dates this year, not due to any fault of Dr Dotti’s, but because our ultrasound date was too late relative to when the rams went in. With ewes that are further along in gestation, it is hard to estimate the age of the fetus. Next year we will have Dr Dotti out twice, once 55 days after rams went in, and a second time, 35 days after the rams came out. That will give us the most accurate due dates.