Our Corriedale ewe Fog had twin girls last night, bringing our lambing season to a close, a full 6 weeks to the day from when it started on February 12. Our friends Millicent and Scott were over for an al-fresco dinner. At the end of the evening I checked the lamb-cam and there was Fog with twins!
Millicent and Scott came with me to the barn and we had a magical moment as they enjoyed the sweet scene of first-time mother loving her lambs. I was filled with joy too, because Fog was bred to Perry and so I was thrilled to have twin girls. These two, in addition to Flora’s lamb, Daisy, mean we have three Corriedale/Cormo ewes in our flock for next year.
We have 52 healthy lambs from 30 ewes, and a nice collection of Corriedales, Romneys as well as some exciting Cormo-crosses.
It was a slower-paced lambing season with almost no emergencies, thanks to the fact that I decided not to breed any of our East Friesian ewes. Ever. Again. I love the East Friesians, but boy do they bring drama to lambing time. The Romneys and Corriedales are slower to get pregnant, so our open rate was much higher than with the East Friesians. We could have remedied this by leaving the rams in with the ewes longer, but we’ve decided to accept a higher open rate in exchange for a reasonable-length lambing season. Who wants to be lambing for three months? The breeds we have now also have lower overall fertility rates, so this year we had only one set of triplets, and no quads. We had no bottle lambs, no cases of mastitis, and only one mild case of pneumonia in a lamb, that was easily cured. We didn’t lose any ewes. We did have two lambs die during delivery, two dead in utero for unexplained reasons, and two that died from detached placenta, probably caused when their Romney mother got cast on her back a few days before lambing. Pregnant Romneys with their short legs and beach-ball bellies are more prone to get cast than the East Friesians were. But we didn’t lose a single lamb post-natally–all in all, an excellent lambing season!