The middle of lambing season


At the beginning of lambing, the barn was a quiet place with the ewes eating and resting. Watching for restless behavior and counting heads was pretty straightforward during my regular barn checks. Now that about half of the ewes have lambed, the barnyard is busy place. 

After the lambs and their mothers leave the lambing jugs they are moved to a barn stall with its own paddock. In the small paddock and with a few other lamb/ewe families, the lamb-ewe bond is strengthened. The lambs and their dams learn to find each other in this temporary small flock. The transition is not always smooth and I occasionally have to go to the barn to move a  bleating lamb around a corner to her frantically calling mother.

Once I am sure of the lamb-ewe bond, I move the families in with the larger flock. Fortunately the first ewe to lamb, Mauve, is also my fiercest mother and under her protection, her lamb moved safely within the flock. The first night Mauve and her lamb were in the barn, most of the flock slept outside to avoid Mauve's protective foot stomping.

Last night there were three lambs in with the larger flock. Each ewe staked out her own area of the barn for her lamb. The still expecting ewes were resting together with only a few outside. 

Watching the widening, expectant ewes; the just born lambs stand so quickly to suckle after birth; the lamb/ewe families as they bond and the flock as it integrates new members, is fascinating. For me it just does not get tiresome, even as slip into my Muck boots for another barn check.