I made sure to mention it was a sheep this time in the title. My brother in law’s sheep had it’s lamb last night. A brown baby boy. I think this makes me a sheep great uncle or something.
So I know I posted a few pictures of the twins earlier, but I wanted to let you know how it all went down. This morning at about quarter to eight I got a phone call from my brother in law letting me know that Pebbles had dropped her lambs. As you know now, we had twins. Twin girls. Of course it was the coldest, windiest day of the week. In fact our two year old was up a little after midnight and I remember looking outside and seeing the snow. I should have know then that this would be the day the lambs were born. By my estimation the due date should have been the 10th, which would make them five days early. Anyways, I quickly got dressed and headed over there to see what I could do. I stopped at Tractor Supply Company and picked up some milk replacement just in case. Pebbles is not a first time mother, so we shouldn’t have any issues, fingers crossed that is the case.
We had not yet gotten around to crotching the sheep, so that was our first order of business. Crotching is where you trim the wool around the mother’s teats and hind end so that the lambs can find the teats and milk more easily. After we got Pebbles crotched, the lambs both got to eating. It is funny to see their little tails wagging back and forth so quickly when they are eating.
The lambs were still a little wet so we grabbed a towel and I dried each of them off. Those were the pictures you saw earlier. We then crotched my brother in laws sheep so that she was ready for her lambing which should be in about a week.
At that point I had to leave to get to our last swim lessons. After that the whole family returned so that the kids could see the new sheep. They all wanted to pet the babies, which was fine, but Pebbles is definitely a good mama. She kept a close eye on my children making sure that her lambs were safe.
As you can see from the videos they are jet black except one has a single white spot on her forehead, and the other has two white spots on her head. We will need to come up with names for them soon, but none so far. Fortunately the daytime temps are supposed to keep getting warmer so they should be just fine.
Here are a few more pictures.
As I had mentioned one of my sheep died. Rather than waste the wool, I wanted to try and save as much as I could. I haven’t yet gotten a pair of shears so I stopped at the hardware store and bought the biggest pair of scissors they had hoping that would be enough. If you have a weak spot for dead animals, stop reading now. I had to move her body around as much as I could in order to get as much of the wool off of her. It wasn’t particularly easy since it had been dead several days. I did they best I could having only read about shearing and watched a couple YouTube videos which were obviously all done with live sheep who were easier(relatively) to move around. And since she had scours before dying, the smell was not good. In the end, I think I did ok.
I obviously missed a lot of wool that you would normally shear. I didn’t get any down on the legs, sides or belly but it is what it is. Despite only taking “clean” wool, it had still managed to take on some smell so I hung it in my brother in law’s stock trailer to air out.
I still don’t have a way to card the wool. I have been looking at hand carders on ebay and such, but even those aren’t inexpensive. A drum carder would be nice, but unless I build one myself I don’t think I can justify the cost for such a small flock. For now at least I have the wool, now I just have to decide how I am going to use it.