This summer’s county fair was pretty amazing for my girls. You may remember that Elizabeth won Reserve Grand Champion lamb, which meant that her lamb Nora would have to be sold in the auction. Well, Nora was sold but the bank that bought her ended up giving Nora back to Elizabeth. (you can read the whole story here.) Not only that, my aunt, who bought Mary’s lamb Agnes, also found Mary after the auction and asked Mary if she wanted to bring Agnes home. Kindness all around.
So our flock of 4 Southdowns quickly grew to 6 when Agnes and Nora came home. But this fall when the girls received their checks from the auction, they decided to invest them back in their growing flock of lambs.
Because Nora and Agnes are less than a year old, it’s a best practice to not breed them their very first year. And our friend and farmer (who we originally bought Agnes and Nora from) was downsizing her flock and wanted to know if the girls were interested in buying two bred ewes from her.
After much thought and a good talking to about the responsibilities of getting more sheep–especially two that were already bred–our flock grew again with the addition of Jane and Sophie.
I have two dates circled in red on my February calendar–February 19th + 23rd. These are the anticipated due dates of Jane and Sophie and the arrival of our first baby lambs in several years.
Jane is expected to be pregnant with triplets and definitely looks the part. If this isn’t the face of a woman about to give birth to triplets, I don’t know what is. Oh Jane.
The new girls are the sweetest mamas and instantly bonded with our other sheep–no head-butting and stomping feet required. They are gentle and sweet and love a good scratch on the head and lean against your leg while you get all the itchy spots.
This weekend, we will lock Jane in her lambing pen so that she’ll have a quiet safe place to have her babies. Since she’s pregnant with triplets there’s always the chance she could go early and she’s really started to “bag up” in the past two weeks –(aka her udder is much more noticeable and full.)
So there is much excitement around here. Every morning when I open the sheep barn door I wonder if this is the morning I might walk in on baby lambs. Pens are built and bedded down with clean, fresh straw. Heat lamps are hung and ready, just in case. And bottles, colostrum and lambing supplies are at the ready.
I’m a nervous, excited sheep midwife but grateful for experienced friends who lend a calming voice, advice and are just a phone call away if I need them. That’s what this community is all about.
And I’m so grateful that the girls get to take part in the full experience of raising their lambs.
So get ready, there’s about to be a lot of cuteness up in here. We can’t wait.