Spring Update – More Lambs!

It’s been a cold, wet, spring.  Yesterday we woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground and the day was frigid and blustery with intermittent sleet.  This year, the ewes have lambed when there has been a significant weather change; I wasn’t surprised to find Shetland Bonnie in labor.  She got my attention by loudly baahing.  That was unusual because she hardly ever makes noise.  I could see lamb hooves and legs but she wasn’t pushing.  We went outside to see what we could do to help.  Trophy Husband held her head and soothed her while I was at the business end.  I wasn’t sure if the lamb was alive or dead, but I held lamb legs while she pushed.  The lamb’s head was crowning and Bonnie just needed a bit of encouragement to push more.  I gently pulled while she grunted, loudly complained and pushed.  I helped ease his head out and after a few more pushes she delivered a live brown ram lamb!  I cleaned his face immediately as mom started cleaning him.  Within a few minutes she delivered a spotted brown ewe lamb.  After cleaning her face, I sat back and observed the new mom with her babes.  Everyone looked fine, both lambs were up and nursing within a short time.  After “snip, dip and strip,” the lambs were dressed in warm fleece jackets.

I couldn’t get a good photo but here is a sneak peek.  These lambs are 50% Shetland 50% Finnsheep.  I absolutely love the moorit coloring and both parents have wonderful fleece so I have great hopes for these two lambs.  The ewe lamb, on the right, already has very curly locks and her HST markings are lovely!

2011 Twin ram and ewe lambs (Shetland RA Bonnie X Finnsheep LRO Eino)

Shetland Bonnie (born 2009) will be for sale after weaning her lambs.  She is a sturdy, quiet sheep who is quickly becoming fond of animal crackers.

Shetland Bonnie in full fleece. Born in 2009, she is moorit and carries spots. She will be for sale after weaning her lambs.

Our First Gray Lamb!

Last week, April 6th, our most stunning lamb of the season was born to Little Red Oak Kiia.  She is a first time mom who birthed a single ram lamb, no help needed.  Kiia was bred to Stillmeadow Toivo, a gray badgerface ram with a finely crimped fleece.  I arrived home from work to find this little guy dried off and standing next to his dam.  His weight was 6 lbs. 4 oz.  He is exactly what I was hoping for!  However, now that we are decreasing our flock, he will be for sale.  His facial markings are piebald; I think his body markings may be “light badgerface.”  The black does not go all the way to his chin and he has white markings on/underneath his tail.  Elizabeth from Stillmeadow Finnsheep, any thoughts??  Again, I will post better pics in the next post.

2011 Single Finnsheep ram lamb. He is a gray, piebald ram lamb.

2011 Finnsheep ram lamb

Look at that fleece!

For Sale

And as a last note, brown Finnsheep ram Little Red Oak Eino is for sale.  He is a two-year old, extremely mild-mannered ram who throws spots.  His fleece is soft, lustrous and lovely; it spins like a dream.  He is very easy to handle and walks well on a leash.  Please leave a message for more info. and recent photos.

Shetland Bonnie will be for sale after weaning her lambs.

Finnsheep gray piebald ram lamb will be for sale after weaning.  It will be hard to let him go as I really wanted a gray sheep on our farm!

We will have more sheep for sale during the summer.  I am waiting for lamb weaning to make the final decision on who will stay in our small flock.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Congratulations Terri! Isn’t it nice to be there when the lambs arrive? I always feel like it’s a priviledge to be part of that special time even if they don’t need any help. Just being there and watching the bonding begin, it’s so cool.

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  2. Terri, I am so sorry that health has amended your flock plan.
    Toivo’s ram is adorable. His markings are black badgerface with spotting. The pure badgerface markings differ in that they call for solid black legs and stripes on the face. When the spotting gene (Piebald) is present along with the badgerface you get the panda eyes and some white potions on the legs. The basic fleece is pale silver grey with the black shading the throat,belly, & haunches in varying degrees(badgerface). My 3 year old badgerfaced ram has displayed slightly darker grey fleece as his testosterone has increased with maturity, but it is still silvery. Toivo is an interesting ram due to having just his dam carry the badger/piebald marking. Toivo’s sire was a genetically brown ram, a color which was dominated by the badger marking of the dam in her first litter. The other thought I have is that the slightly curly fleece on the lamb’s back may well drop out and be replaced by a finer crimped wool by his 2nd month. This seems to be a common development in Finns which carry recessive color genes. I have seen actual hairy lambs shed the birthcoat and then grow just lovely fleeces.
    Your Shetland ewe Bonnie is also very pretty…..she is the very same color that my yearling quad Finn ram is (named Flash). He is the brown fella I worked toward for 6 years with some genetic combinations. His progeny and lambs from the 4 other Stillmeadow rams are expected to arrive beginning this week……I can’t wait to see them. This is the fun of being a Finn breeder.
    Elizabeth

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  3. We are hoping to move to a farm next spring 2012. I do so want fiber animals, but I read you were planning on this being your last season. I would love to get some tips from you though and keep in touch. I miss seeing you at class.

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