Momma… stay close to me, please?
I love being there when the babies are born.
I love seeing their first steps and helping their mothers to welcome them into the quiet and calm of the sheep barn and the lambing jug.
I love when they finally find their mother’s udder and get that first drink of milk with their little tails just wagging and so happy…
However, my most favorite moment is when they first come out into the big green world and meet their new herdmates and learn all that is waiting for them! It’s my most favorite time and I love to see it unfold.
Just a little pause at the gate for a bit of milky courage! It’s so normal, they all seem to do this… it’s a few steps out, following their mother but then all the sudden, they are overwhelmed and they seek the only calming thing they know, their mother’s milk and close to her heartbeat. And all the moms wait a bit, giving the little baby a chance to adjust and get ready to go a little further.
HOLY COW! What the HECK is that thing???
They are so adorable when they first see chickens or the dogs, or even other sheep and goats. I like to let everyone else out first and they will spread out and graze. Then I let the new pair out. It seems to limit the crowding and nosey behaviors of the other mothers and babies. It takes them a little longer to realize there is a new baby and come to inspect the nipper out.
And it give Mom a chance to introduce her lambkins to the new world, easily and without a lot of rush and confusion.
Frodo is wondering what the heck is Momma doing, eating this weird stuff underfoot. It tickles and feels like nothing when he nibbles it…
It’s just a crazy and wild place out here… but exciting… soon after they feel comfy and Mom is grazing, they spend a good while just looking and watching all the goings on. I am sure they are just not too game to all that is happening!
We try and hold the little lambs, because the sheep are not as friendly as the goats can be. Unless they are bottle raised or held a LOT. Since I didn’t get a whole lot of time to hold him the day before, I snuck a little time in and got his first selfie shot! He has a dirty little nose and just the cutest little dark panda eyes! He is simply stunning.
I’m beginning to see what they say is true… the ram really does determine a lot in coloring and markings. All the babies from this year and last, really don’t look much like their mothers! I’ve heard over and over, you can build a fantastic flock with healthy grade ewes as long as you have a fantastic ram! We’ve been so lucky to have rams from one of the best Shetland breeders in the area… Windswept Farms in lower western Michigan. Gideon, Harley and Otis have fantastic pedigrees and have thrown some amazing lambs from my good but homegrown ladies! My dream to get a really nice pedigreed ewe for Harley to see what magic might come from that union! But until then, I am very happy with my mommas and their lovely children.
Their fleece is so beautiful. And as I learn and grow as a spinner and fiber artist, I just love the hand and quality of my own sheep flock’s wool. I’ve spun, now, about 10 different types and hands down, I love the Shetland! I guess that’s a good thing because… I have SHETLANDS! Yippee! I haven’t yet spun any angora goat and I think that it might be amazing to blend about 80% Shetland with 20% angora and see how that works out. I’ve been told that it makes a beautiful roving for spinning and dying… I want to give that a chance soon, too! I just got back a few bags of my fleece this year…. and more is coming! And Maggie is building me a new spinning wheel, just to my specs! I can’t wait….
As you can see, little Frodo was pretty brave and began to move a little from his mother after an hour or so. Now, several days later? He is running and playing with his bigger and older siblings like he was just born to this game of life and is now the master! Sweet little things!!!
Just waiting on Buttercup and Rana now… hoping they are expecting!!! How exciting…Pin It