About 5 months ago we put a young ram in with 10 yearling ewes, and I’ve been watching them closely and noticed two of the ewes had udders that were starting to swell. When you put a ram in with ewes, sometimes they will come in season pretty quickly, and sometimes it takes another cycle for that to happen and the ram to do his job, so it was really no surprise that only two “took” right away.
About a month or so ago, I pulled a muscle in my hip (I know, I know….be careful how I lift things, right?) and so when Farmer Bob is home, he tends to all the chores so I can rest that muscle. Especially the past two weeks, I haven’t been going out to the Back Forty every day. In the meantime, we got a new young Anatolian Shepherd (like Hobart and Turk) only this one is a sweet girl, Anna. We put her in with this group of ewes and their ram, intending to take her our before the lambing started since we didn’t know how she would do with all the mess of lambing and babies yelling for their mommas, etc. Well, we didn’t take her out in time and, when I went over to the Back Forty yesterday morning to feed everyone, Anna wouldn’t come to me, but stayed on the far side of the pasture. There was a ewe over there, too…what the heck? And then I heard a lamb bawling! Sore hip and all, I hightailed it across the pasture, just praying that the lamb was ok. I got over there to find a nice big ram lamb, and Anna had “adopted” it and was guarding it from the ewe. She was so very proud to show me “her” baby, and smiled and danced all around it!
I grabbed Anna’s collar to take her out of the pasture, but no way was she budging. She planted her big feet and all 100+ pounds of her made her big body like a rock stuck to the ground. I thought and thought about what to do, then I grabbed the baby and took him out of the pasture, and Anna got all confused and just stayed where she was, worrying with the ewe about where the baby went. I stuck him in a 5 gallon bucket (which he filled up) outside the pasture gate, then grabbed a leash, clipped it to Anna’s collar, and led her out of the pasture. No trouble! Whew! I put her in another pasture with Hobart, then I took the baby back to his REAL momma, and boy, was she ever happy to see him! Here they are together….isn’t he a big boy?
They were both really tired, and mom was stressed from worry about Anna taking her baby, so they just laid down in the grass and rested for a few hours. This morning I took my camera with me to get pictures, and just HAD to take one when that baby boy was looking at me, because he looks so darn funny with that spot on his nose!
Imagine my surprise this morning to find that the other ewe had had her baby, too! Another ram lamb, and a big one at that. This one isn’t as funny looking…rather handsome, I think, with that buff colored head and front end.
Both mommas are good mommas and they have plenty of milk. I guess we’ll still be on watch for the arrival of the rest of the lambs….probably by the middle of November, by my calculations. In the meantime, Anna will continue her “guardian” lessons with Hobart as her instructor. 🙂
Farmer Bob says I’m having a big adventure! hahaha