imageOur ewes are all getting pretty big-looking. I planned our lambing week to coincide with the daylight savings change. It helps to have the extra hour of daylight in the evening to monitor and care for the new lambs and their mamas. So, we have about a week and a half left before the first lambs should start arriving.

Most of the ewes are looking really, really large; and uncomfortable! If they try to jog in a hurry for food, they move in a rather peg-legged fashion to accommodate their bellies! The above picture is of #33, the largest of them all- she is now shaped like a hippopotamus! I am guessing she’s harboring triplets in there again. For comparison, take a look at her svelte physique from last July (grr, you can see she’s standing tender-footed in the picture, something that’s finally better again this month!):

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Here is another fatty who may have triplets. This is #38 from Montana, she was a yearling when I bought her last fall. So I expect a little more from her than the ewelambs who will be delivering their first babies right near their one-year-old birthdays. #33’s chocolate ewe lamb daughter is to the right in this photo, she’s also pretty round.

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Almost all of the ewes look quite blimpy, I suspect most are carrying twins or more. Here’s another shot at quite a few big bellies. The chocolate brown ewe on the right, and the white one showing her rear-view on the left are ewe lambs from this year.

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But there are two sheep that don’t look very big. One is the Jacob ewe; now that I have her sheared, I can see her size. I know she is pregnant because she is bagging up. Her belly is a little low-slung, so she might still be hiding twins in there. She had very small twins last year, so maybe that’s just the way she rolls. I also don’t like her condition, she is a little thin compared to the rest of the flock. This is yet another reason to be unhappy with her, I don’t feel she’s as thrifty as the Katahdin ewes. And she should be fatter, since she wields those horns all the time to hog extra food from the rest!

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The other not-so-big ewe is #65, also from Montana. She is one of three which came from the same flock, and the other two are quite chunky weight-wise and very pregnant. But this girl isn’t thriving nearly as well. She is somewhat underweight and looks barely pregnant. She is eating aggressively and has a good attitude; but something is causing her feed conversion to be poor.

It’s risky to medicate her so close to lambing, so I’m going to try giving her some fresh garlic to attempt to gently eradicate any parasites or pneumonia-type infection she may be fighting. After she lambs, I may try something more to help her along. I fear she is going to lose more condition when nursing, and she can’t afford to drop much weight. The picture doesn’t show her in a very nice stance, but I like this ewe; she has good height and leg length, areas where I need to improve my flock. So I hope she works out.

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The Shaggy Carpet sheep did not lamb by Feb 22, the last possible date on which any lambs sired by the not-entirely-wethered-wethers could have been born. She looks pregnant, so for now I’m assuming she’s due with the rest of them sometime after March 15th, and that somehow the ram’s marking crayon just didn’t mark her crazy shag.

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