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Spring Lambing Season with Finnsheep

| 6/2/2020 6:17:00 AM

Golden Retriever Licking Sheep Face 

Spring lambing season is always a time of anticipation accompanied with a bit of angst. We had three ewes deliver nine nice lambs this spring. Each delivery was a different experience. I prefer to let nature take its course, with as little intervention as possible on my part.

I was looking forward to this year’s lambing season with excitement and a bit of anxiety. When the time comes, you need to keep your eye on the ewes, look for the often-hidden signs of labor, and make educated judgements about when to help out and when to leave well enough alone. With Finnsheep, the breed we raise, lambing is also a time of discovery. Regardless of the color of the parents, you won’t know ahead of time what color the lambs will be. Even though none of this year’s breeding stock were white, we still netted four white lambs and a nice variety of colored ones.

Preparing for Spring Lambing

Our former cow shed has been remade into a maternity ward for sheep. The three pregnant ewes spent the second half of winter in one large pen in the ward, separated from the rest of the flock while we supplemented their feed during the later stages of gestation.

Because Finns typically have litters of lambs, they need extra nutrition during pregnancy to remain healthy and deliver healthy, good-sized lambs. As lambing drew closer, they were separated into individual jugs to give the ewes private space to deliver and bond with their lambs.

Duchess, one of our foundation ewes, was the first to deliver. This was her third time lambing. She’s an old pro at motherhood, and I was hoping the two new mothers that were following her would learn something by watching. Just like in her prior pregnancies, she was as round as a barrel when she started pawing the floor of her pen on delivery day.

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