EweLineFall is definitely here, with cool nights, and finally, some rain, after a long drought. In August, I weaned all the lambs, and put the ewes in drylot on hay for the short term. This saves the green grass for the lambs, giving the fields a rest until fall rains refresh them. It also gives me a good opportunity to walk the line and look at the condition of all the ewes, survey their udders, and spot any problems that need addressing before breeding season in November.

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LastLambMaybe

I might like to think this was my last lamb of the season, born already atypically late, in July. But I still have four ewes that I’m pretty sure are bred, which means they likely lost pregnancies late in that crappy, stressful winter, and re-bred, in, like, late March. One is definitely developing an udder, so seems for-sure. The others ones, I can’t tell by looking. I’ve done a couple of blood tests on them, and they indicate positive results, but they are on the edge, and  seem so hard to believe. They are all yearlings or two-year-olds, so to breed so far out of season is really odd. But, it has been an odd year.

I have them in the barn, so if they surprise me, at least I’ll spot them right away. During the summer, I don’t check the pasture sheep at all in the mornings, and only do a cursory review in the evenings, because they are pretty self-sufficient this time of year. So it’s not super convenient to have ladies-in-waiting. Not to mention, their schedules will be totally off for breeding back in November. This waiting game has caused me to not even wrap up my lambing records and stats yet. This winter was sure a weird and inconvenient one!

HayTrucksOur hay was delivered a couple of weeks ago, it’s always nice to have that milestone checked off the list. 37 tons, which is just about what I used last year. This was four long flatbed trucks and a trailer’s worth.

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Barf

Going through photos from the crazy days of lambing, I found this thing I wanted to post about. This is sheep vomit. Which I have never seen before. Sheep rarely barf. Walking through the pasture where the sheep were grazing, it caught my eye instantly. The only time I see this material is when rumens are emptied on the grass at the end of the butchering process, by people who plan to take the rumen lining home for tripe recipes. It is unmistakable in contents, smell and texture. It was spread out in multiple piles. I instantly knew who it belonged to.

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This.

Horses3

Went prancing by our farm today. My mom called to say they’d seen it, and to be on the lookout when it made its way towards our house a few minutes later. I was sorta ready with my phone camera, except I thought they were coming from the other direction, so I didn’t get a close-up of the bride-and-groom white horse-drawn carriage. You can click on the photos to see bigger versions of them.

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Lambs are arriving in a steady fashion, we’re up to 40 today. It’s mostly uneventful, but there are always some interesting developments. One situation surprised me.

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FirstLambs

Notwithstanding the twelve unplanned lambs born in January and February, here are the official first lambs of the officially planned lambing season! A couple of white and brown ewelambs. Lambs should really start arriving in earnest today, and this ewe was due tomorrow. So, these twin girls got a jumpstart on a sunny Thursday. I didn’t see them born, just found them clean and fed on a midday check, my favorite kind.

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