Monday, June 18, 2012

The Vagaries of Mother Nature

Sometime in May, Steve & I sat down and took a look at when the last batch of lambs were born and sort of estimated when we could maybe expect the next batch of deliveries to take place.  We came up with August.  So, we were pretty comfortable with the barn being in construction and the sheep wandering all over creation.  Lately, we've been trying to get a handle on the cheat grass, so the sheep have been confined to the ram pasture, near the house.  This turned out to be a fortunate decision on our part, since I discovered the error of our thought process when I looked out our bedroom window as I was getting dressed to some exercise at 5:15 this morning and noticed a ewe standing all alone at the far end of the pasture and bawling.  She was bawling because the other sheep were on the far side of the creek calling to her.  It took me a couple of moments to realize that she was staying where she was because she had a baby.  A very cute very small little baby ewe lamb.

We had some trouble getting them into the barn because Mamma really wanted to stay with the other sheep, but was conflicted because she knew she needed to stay with baby.  We eventually ran all of the sheep into the barn (I carried the baby) and then sorted out everyone but Mamma and baby.  Then we had to scrounge for all the supplies and feed that had gotten relocated in the great purge in preparation for construction, but we eventually found two feeders and got them some feed and water.  Mamma really wanted to be able to go outside, so I worked some magic with the gates and managed to give her access to fresh feed outside while still keeping the wandering area down to acceptable for the lamb.  I checked before dinner, and they are both doing fine.  We'll top off the grain and water in the morning before we leave for the 6:30 am swim practice.

Yes, Sarah is back to swimming.  I am happy, as her attitude should improve, and I know her physical fitness will improve, but dang!! That child really needs to get her driver's license so I don't have to go to town that early.

So, what did Steve & I do wrong in our estimating?  We neglected to consider those ewes who had not yet had a lamb and were about 9 months old.  This is one of those.  She's got a twin sister who could also deliver at any time, if she's pregnant, and there is another ewe about that same age.  I'm thinking we may do some sorting and confining when Steve is home later this week.