We are entering the last four weeks of pregnancy for the breeding ewes this week. This it the time when the girls begin laying around a lot more rather than standing up and picking at what little forage remains in the field. They travel between the large round hay bale to eat with gusto and then seek out the remains of other bales to lounge on and chew their cud. The only thing that get's them moving really is the twice daily grain feeding.
The temps have been dropping this morning a little and it's cloudy but the sheep find this kind of weather more to their liking than the balmy 50's and 60's we been having recently. The yearlings we are keeping romp around and kick up their heals while the bred ewes look on and grumble.
Roz appears to want to just move the belly to one side for easier resting I guess.
I believe even Sandwich is pregnant this time around. I guess we finally got a ram here that she likes because two tries with Frazier got us no where but she really seemed to be enamored with Cocomo.
Her belly is almost dragging the ground this year. Of course I thought she was pregnant last year too and it turned out she was just fat. She is even bigger this year though so I am thinking that she will indeed produce at least one lamb for us.
This year we are down to only 13 bred ewes though so it should be an easier lambing season. We lost two breeding ewes to the Barberpole worms last Spring, retired one due to age and mastitis complications and moved two more down the road because they showed they were susceptible to the worms as well. We kept quite a few ewes for breeding but they won't be introduced to the rams until this next breeding season.
Still that leaves us expecting anywhere from 20 to 30 lambs more than likely. We almost always get twins and at least two or three triplets from the crew. Of course a couple of the older ewes should start slowing down so perhaps this is the year we get a few more singles.
Soon the flock will be taken off the Winter pasture, not that there is any pasture left there anyway, and confined to the barn lot. They won't like it but we need to keep the new mothers and their lambs in the barn for a few weeks. Normally we have locked them up inside completely but I think this year we are going to attempt to give them access to the barn lot after the lambs reach four days old or so. Provided we don't run out of maternity stalls anyway.
Nothing is more entertaining than a bunch of lambs running around. Even the chickens can't compete with them. Before lambing season starts though we still have shearing day. Always a fun time.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!