Growing Lambs

We are in a holding pattern on the farm, waiting for our last two ewes to birth their lambs.  Both are first time mothers – a white Shetland Mulesheep who looks wide enough to be holding triplets – she must be having twins.  And our white Finnsheep Elina also looks wider than Emmi did, so hopefully she has twins waiting to pop out.

Lamb Growth

I thought I would post a few photos of our BFL X North Country Cheviot Mulesheep lamb.  We are calling him “Tank” because he is HUGE compared to the other lambs.  Last year Molly had a beautiful black Mule ewe lamb with a body shape similar to a BFL.  Helena has a long torso and neck, with longer legs.  It’s interesting to see the contrast between Helena and Tank.  (I will post some comparison photos when he grows a bit more.)  His neck and legs are shorter and he has a body shape more like the NC Cheviot.  He should give us some good weight for a market lamb.

NC Cheviot X BFL single ram lamb. In hi first six days he gained one pound a day, weighing over 17lbs.

2010 Shetland ram lamb size compared to 1/2 BFL 1/2 No. Ctry Cheviot (Mulesheep.) The black Shetland is three days older than the Mule lamb.

No. Ctry. Cheviot Molly with her single Mulesheep ram lamb "Tank" 2010

And since I am comparing sizes –

Here is a photo of Shetland Mulesheep Maliah’s huge bag (right) compared with Finnsheep Emmi’s more compact bag.  Mulesheep are known for their “milkiness” which they inherit from the Bluefaced Leicester breeding.  All that milk helps them easily raise a market lamb on nothing but grass pasture and milk in a few months.

2010 Finnsheep Emmi with her single ram lamb and Mulesheep Maliah with one of her twin 3/4 BFL ewe lambs.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Nice lamby coats! We’re waiting here, too.

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  2. I love that picture of Long-Suffering Husband!

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    • That photo was taken after he had just come off the night shift. I asked him to help me “with just one thing.” Well, that turned into two, and three…

      He IS a long-suffering husband. He likes to remind me that he is a Trophy Husband. It is true, very true.

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  3. Hi, I like your blog, its so organized, ah someday ….
    Just thinking about mule sheep. We are in our second year of crossing shetland and BFL for fall grass-fed lambs. So far so good. It would be really fun to keep a few mule ewe lambs to breed to either a local suffolk or cheviot ram. Just wondering about the possibility of them coming into heat soon enough to breed for a February lambing to have a lamb my neice could take to the 4H fair in August, next year. Do you have any experience with such things ? Is there much difference between a Cheviot and a North country Cheviot ? Thanks so much, Jean in Mt

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    • Thank you for the kind words Jean! I always like your comments on the Shetland list, too. As far as mulesheep, I have only had them for two years also. I have one girl who breeds right away in November, but I haven’t put them together any earlier so I don’t have a good answer for you. As far as North Country Cheviot, they are larger than the Border Cheviots, which are often referred to as “Cheviots.” NC Cheviot ears are more to the side where the BC have ears that stand straight up. If you googled the sheep you could see a difference in the photos. Thanks for stopping by!

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