I thought Lily would be one of the first to lamb. She started looking huge before anyone else and her udder came in early and has looked painfully full for weeks. Every day I think “today is the day.”
Today she was acting a little bit off– finding weird places to nap separate from the rest of the flock– but she is always somewhat independent and it was a hot day so everyone was seeking out shady spots to nap.
I didn’t think much of it– she has fooled me too many times already! And to be honest, I was a bit distracted this afternoon catching Etta, hauling her across the pasture and then shearing her. We both were of the opinion that it was far too hot and we are both far too pregnant for that sort of effort, but it had to be done. After finishing with Etta I came inside for a dinner of leftover pizza and a shower. I was also supposed to have a virgin pina colada that I’d been looking forward to all afternoon- but my blender died. Anyway….after that I went back out to check on the ladies in the maternity yard, including a newly shorn Etta, and the few pregnant girls left out with the rest of the flock (Lily and Kaylee). But Lily wasn’t with the flock.
Sheep- even jet black ones- are very easy to spot at night if you have a good flashlight because their eyes reflect the light. I soon found her at the far back end of the pasture in their favorite spot under the bushes. As I got closer my flashlight beam reflected off of not one but three sets of eyes, two much closer to the ground!
The twins must have been born not long ago because they were barely cleaned off yet. Sometime between 7pm when I finished shearing Etta and went inside and 9:30 when I went back out to check the flock.
After 6 girls in a row we finally have two little boys. I would have liked girls from Lily because I’d really like to get more of her genetics in the flock, but even if we just keep these two as wethers I think that their fleeces will make it worthwhile. I may even keep one as an intact ram to use for breeding the part of the flock that he isn’t related to. I think that they are both solid black (its hard to tell when they aren’t fully clean and dry yet). The big one is named Nosferatu (Nosie) and the little one is Nimoy.
In the past when we have had twins they have always been similar in size but this time one of them is nearly double the size of the other! The larger one is 9lb which makes him the largest lamb we’ve had so far, I think, and the smaller is 5lb which may make him the smallest we’ve had (though we’ve had several at 5.5lb). And of course together the extreme size difference makes them look even more exaggerated.
I’m a little bit worried about the small one, Nimoy, because he is so little and is a little wobbly, but he was on his feet when I found him and doesn’t have any trouble walking around. It took him a while to figure out how to nurse but to be fair, Lily’s udder is kind of unusual shaped and the teats are tucked behind her legs in a way that the lambs have to really search for them, or she has to lift her leg out of the way. She also kept deciding he needed more cleaning off anytime he got close. Finally I grabbed hold of Lily and made her stand still while I literally put the teat in Nimoy’s mouth. Thankfully once he had experienced nursing he caught on quickly and it wasn’t long before he was able to find the teat by himself and get a nice long drink. I do have a bottle on hand if he ends up needing supplementing, but hopefully it won’t come to that!
Now that Lily has lambed the only two ewes left are Kaylee and Etta. Kaylee is definitely pregnant but Etta may not be. I have a hard time guessing when Kaylee is due– she and her sister Kelly both carry their lambs very well and don’t get giant or uncomfortable looking, even when carrying average sized twins. She has a round belly and a well developed udder so she could lamb tonight– or next week. If Etta is pregnant at all I suspect she won’t lamb for a while, unless she is carrying a small single, because she isn’t round in the belly and her udder is small. I didn’t actually plan to breed Etta this year anyway so I’d be perfectly happy if she ends up not lambing.