Our 2023 lambing season started in January when our 4-H selected ewes began having their babies. Not everyone that we thought was bred actually lambed though so we ended up with just enough lambs for the job.
There were about 2 weeks between the first group and the next wave of lambs. Mid-February we started full-swing lambing. Lots of late nights and early mornings. Our last lamb was born yesterday afternoon. It is a huge relief to be done. After having a very uneventful year last year. This season was full of interesting events.
The sheep for the most part stayed outside and were moved into the barn only after they lambed or when they were lambing. I only needed to assist one mom this year. most of the ewes had their babies on their own. That is a bonus around here, the less I have to pull and assist the better.
So now that lambing is done we are putting our attention to the garden and getting ready for our cow to potentially calve late next month. I am looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt again.
So to recap this year for lambing...
5 ewes were put in with the ram in August to have January babies. I aborted in November and 2 lambed in January. The other 2 didn't catch that go-round. The older ram was put in with the rest of the older ewes in mid-September. The younger girls were put in with the ram lamb at that time as well. I had a lambing window then of Feb 15 to March 22nd.
Out of the 25 ewes we have only one didn't get bred. She didn't have a lamb last year either so she will not be staying. So that leaves us with 24 ewes. There were 2 first-time moms that just didn't get it. Our first casualty of the season was a Finn ewe lamb that got crushed under the feeder. Then we had a mom have twins without us noticing and they froze. Then the younger ones started lambing and it was just bad. One had a 2-week premature stillborn ram lamb; another had her baby and it got too cold and died; another had twins who liked one and rejected the other but ended up with neither because she laid on the one she liked. The mama that just didn't get it I saved her babies twice from dying and am now bottle feeding them. They are growing by leaps and bounds.
So we ended up with 17 Ewe lambs and 13 Ram lambs this year. I will be keeping 6 back to grow the flock but everyone else is for sale including the Rams. The older ram has had two years and for the younger one, we just feel that it is best to let him service a different farm. Since our flock is still small I don't want daddy's breeding daughters. So we are on the hunt for a good meat breed ram and a dairy breed ram.
Our lambs will be ready to go to the abattoir end of August. If you would like a lamb, be sure to get on the waitlist to be notified when they will be heading out.