Lambing is always a special time of both challenges and delights. The challenges this year were because lambing came a month before pasture, which means hay feeding, lots, pens in the barn, bedding, sometimes heat lamps. More work for Bonnie and Craig–which is why I haven’t posted anything recently. But the blessings are many. First off is what a joy it is to have a “normal” spring! Last year was not the way spring should be and so no surprise that right on spring’s heels came the drought of summer. So bless the snow, sleet, rain and cool temperatures, for though it means April is an intense month here on the farm (and my heart aches for critters on farms where hay is running out) and the cattle and sheep look longingly at their pastures while gobbling up every little bit of green in the lots, it’s the norm for our climate and bodes well for the rest of the year.
A blessing, too, is that barn lambing really gives me a good look at how my sheep are doing, in terms of productivity and mothering ability. Having culled heavily with last summer’s drought and with good production records and new ram genetics in these 2013 lambs, I am pleased to be able to have this closeup look at the 2013 lambing in order to select Katahdin breeding stock for replacements here on the farm and for sale at weaning this fall.
The ewe in the picture is stellar. She is doing a fantastic job of raising quads–3 rams and a ewe. These ram lambs will be for sale, but I won’t part with the ewe lamb!