Tuesday, March 20

Farm Photo: 3/20/07

All Booked Up At The Bonding Suite Inn!

Rose & Her Three Day Old Baby Girl, First Afternoon Outside Together

Lamb Report:
Whew. Starting first thing yesterday morning, we had seven lambs born in just over 24 hours--definitely a new record. There are two sets of twins, two first-time mothers (one of which, Bloomie, had twins) and three lambs who are having to be bottle fed around the clock.

I didn't get to bed last night until 3:30am and was back down at the barn by 7:30. Sally Vincent, who, among other things, raises sheep and donkeys (she even has one named Dandy Dan!) in Devon, England, said in her latest post on Raining Sideways that "You can always recognise sheep farmers in spring by their yawns and the way they fall asleep, dormouse style, in their soup."

If I had any nice homemade soup hanging around, I'm sure I would probably be falling asleep in it. As it is, I'm just glad I managed to bake up another batch of Blueberry Bran Muffins on Sunday--and that I don't mind eating them for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.

When I told my pal Clare about all the new lambs and the No Vacancy sign at The Bonding Suite Inn (despite the forced early checkout of Rose and her baby girl), she said, "I think The Bonding Suite Inn needs to become The Bonding Together Hotel!" And the way Silly Wendy and Serena were looking earlier, I think she may be right. We're probably going to have to start assigning suitemates and doubling up.

Need more cute lamb photo fixes? My amazing shepherdgirl pal Katherine at Apifera Farm is knee deep in lambing season, too. And like she says, sometimes
there are no words needed.

So how was our first day of spring on the farm? I think Rose and her baby pretty much sum it up in this photo (click on it to enlarge)--smiling but tiring. (Some of you may remember that Rose was the 2005 Menu For Hope prize lamb--how quickly they grow up!)

Current Lamb Count: 18. Number of tired but smiling farmgirls headed back down to the barn for one last check and bottle feeding before grabbing a few hours of sleep: 1.

A year of Farm Photos ago:
3/20/06: Happy First Day Of Spring
3/19/06: Farewell Winter, I'll Miss You
WDB#26: We've Found Another Use For All That Uneaten Hay


  1. Baby lamb is DEFINITELY smiling - what a face! Spring is an amazing season in the country - you can feel the life stirring and rising out of the trees and ground and - yep - out of our flocks/herds. Lost a baby this week - he was just never strong enough to make it but we both put in all those hours of trying-- then I get up in the morning and see our little herd of kids running like mad and having attacks of the springing/jumpies and smile. Life is good - thanks for sharing your pictures and observations of that truth.

  2. I was just wondering at what age do you tag and band your lambs? Or if you even band (their tails). I have a couple of different breed ewes and bred for first time to a dorper ram. Those babies are SOOOO cute! But then aren't they all?

  3. Congratulations Mama Rose on a beautiful baby!

    That has to be one of the cutest photos I've seen in ages...and you've had some real cute photos up!


  4. Well, for those of us who don't have to do all the hard work but get to see the wonderful pictures of the adorable babes and their mothers, lambing season is absolutely enchanting. And I bet you feel the same way, too!

  5. I just love the babies. They look so sweet and innocent. Too bad you can't do a You Tube video for us of them doing that Boucing Sickness thing. That would be a hoot!

    My friend with the Merinos changed the shearing date to the 31st. I took the day off from work. I was really bummed at the thought of missing shearing this year. The guy who shears her sheep has a sick wife and couldn't come so maybe we will get lucky; the wife will be better by the 31st and no rain! Keep your fingers crossed.

  6. ...and you have time to bake bread, too? Congratulations on all those beautiful new lambs!

  7. You've totally brought back my childhood! I grew up on a small farm in Michigan and we primarily raised sheep (about 100 or so). Each spring I would be on barn duty to check every hour when it was at its busiest. I tell my colleagues farm stories all the time, especially about delivering a breech birth :-)

    The photos are great -- lambs are so adorable. Try and get some rest -- all the best!

  8. My goodness, you have a bunch of beautiful babies, and they just keep right on arriving.

  9. I haven't commented in a while and I'll tell you why.

    I am simply struck speechless with the cuteness that is running rampant on the blog here.

    Sheesh man!

    Never having heard the term "lambing season" before, I am overwhelmed with the whole process and the resulting tiny fuzziness.

    Congrats on your new furry brood.

  10. Hi Linda Sue,
    You are right--spring is definitely amazing in the country. We've been having strange warm weather (83 degrees predicted for tomorrow) and rain. The minute the sun peeks out, I swear you can see the grass growing.

    Practically every hour I notice something new--tiny buds on the lilacs (yay!), an itty bitty grasshopper, new leaves on some of the trees. . . I wonder if they just appeared, or if I haven't been paying close enough attention.

    Today I stared at the bare trees up the steep valley wall, making myself really look at the landscape, because in a few short days it will be entirely different. So much going on--I am constantly reminding myself to slow down, slow down, slow down.

    Hi Tina,
    I agree--I don't think I've ever seen a baby lamb that wasn't adorable. : )

    As far as tagging and banding, I assume by tag you mean eartags? We do band the lambs' tails, and we usually do the eartags and banding all at once. You can band the tails when the lambs are only a few days old (one of my books says to do it before you let them out of the bonding pens), but what we usually do is wait until there's a group of them, and then do them all at once.

    We use plastic eartags, but the past few years we've had a real problem with lambs losing theirs (often being painfully torn out after catching on something)--so much so that there are a few mystery sheep in the flock.

    This year we bought some of those teeny brass numbered tags that are probably less than an inch long. Last Sunday we put one in each of the 11 lambs and banded their tails (just in time, too, as by Tuesday morning we had 7 new lambs). I think they are going to work out really well. You can't read them at a distance, of course, so we'll still put in the larger plastic tags later (I did buy a different size/kind to try, too), but these little brass ones should theoretically never get torn out, so we'll always know who is who. This is also going to be helpful since we're going to have more lambs than ever this year--and I'm already starting to get them mixed up!

    I don't like to put the larger eartags in until later, as I've found that the tiny lamb ears can't hold the weight and end up sagging. : )

    Hi Jane,
    Thank you! Rose really did a wonderful job this year--I am so proud of her. And that smiling baby is such a cutie pie.

    Hi Momamadness,
    I do feel that lambing season is an enchanting time on the farm. Several times today I caught myself being mesmerized by the lambs--racing around and playing with each other, sleeping so soundly and looking totally at peace, crying for their misplaced mamas. . . All that and then I get to snatch them up and hold them! Makes that whole wiped out/lack of sleep thing worthwhile. : )

    Hi Vickie,
    I am definitely going to have to at least make a short movie with my camera of the lambs. This morning would have been perfect, too. Seven of them were tearing all around the farmyard, jumping and bouncing and having a great time--and three yearling lambs joined in! It was hysterical--until they caught me watching them and stopped.

    Hooves, paws, and fingers crossed that you make it to the shearing session. : )

    Hi Kat,
    Coffee and chocolate chip cookies? YUM. That sounds great right about now. Okay, it sounds great pretty much anytime to me. : )

    Hi Stephen,
    Time to bake bread? Um, sorta. I did finally refresh my sourdough and sourdough rye starters that live in the fridge--over a week late! I'm hoping to make three loaves of Farmhouse White tomorrow, though I really need to bake another batch of blueberry bran muffins since I've pretty much been living on them (well, them and chocolate). Actually, what I really need to be doing is making pizza for A Year In Bread--our new project has taken off, but I have been suspiciously absent on the site. At least I warned Beth & Kevin about lambing season, LOL.

    Hi Allen,
    I love that I could help bring back your childhood--thanks so much for taking the time to write. Stop by anytime--it's all of the fun but none of the work!

    Hi Keewee,
    Yes, the lambs are definitely still arriving--we aren't even halfway done yet!

    Hi Sher,
    Well, I've had time to bake bran muffins, but that's about it. I haven't really done much actual cooking lately, LOL. Trust me, I am not Supergirl by any stretch of the imagination--and I've got a mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen to prove it! : )

    Hi Finny,
    I know exactly what you mean about the struck speechless thing. When I stop fussing and fretting and doing all my shepherdgirl jobs and take the time to just look at the lambs, I am not only speechless but in absolute awe. I mean, they come out of their mothers with wool and teeth and perfect little hooves, and within minutes they are standing up looking for lunch. All that and adorable, too. Amazing.

  11. Oh my, these pics look familiar. We are in lambing/kidding season as well, although we only have 3 mama sheep and a total of 6 lambs - including a set of triplets who we are bottlefeeding as mama had no milk. One of which is in my laundry room because its mom stepped on it and broke its leg, so she's getting lots of tlc. (and I relate to the yawns- my sleep schedule is totally goofed up after many nights of checking pregnant goats and sheep.


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