Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mona twins! One ram, one ewe

I just came in from the barn...Mona had her lambs today!  She didn't report for breakfast, so right away, I knew today was the day.  She's been guarding a nice nest in a corner for at least a week, so we were watching her closely.  Not much to worry about really because a) she's a Shetland and b) she's done this before!

As soon as the first lamb was born, I noticed right away what long ears it had!  That's a signature of her lambs, just like Twilight passes on teddy bear ears.  The first one is the ram lamb, and he was up right away.  I couldn't believe how sturdy on his legs he was so quickly!  He was doing really well, but I was really hoping by the looks of how large Mona was that she'd have another lamb.  I waited quite awhile, getting nervous.  She waited until the first lamb was up and nursing before she had the second one!  How's that for experience?  The ewe was born next, and she gently attended her while the little fellow brightly studied his new world atop his new legs!

I've put them in a jug for dipping navels, clean ground, and later, so Mona can eat without competition.  I have to say, the other little lambs, who were in the same space as Mona while she lambed, were a total crack up!  There are hens free-ranging around this year in the lambing shed.  I don't think I'll do that again next year, as the hens kept creating a ruckus every little while!!  It was annoying when birth is so peaceful!  Well, the first lambs are very playful and attentive little rock-hoppers, and they positively delighted in chasing the hens out of the pen during Mona's quiet time!  Thanks little lambs!!!! :)

It's truly amazing to see how the rest of the ewes become so gentle and considerate when someone else is lambing.  I know ewes can become possessive or even try to steal someone else's new lamb, but today, everyone was very tender and gentle...careful to give Mona lots of space, careful to not be disruptive.  One by one, the ewes would come over and check out Mona's new lambs.  At first I was nervous about that, but their tenderness showed I needn't worry.  With all animals, there is good and bad.  Today was a ton of good, and they cease to amaze me!

Almost forgot to mention...both lambs are black!

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