Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's That Time Again

It's that time of year again. Or rather it's been that way for a while here. Time for turning the ram (or ram lamb in our case) in with the girls and let Nature take its course.
"What the heck is going on at the barn? And most importantly, why aren't we wethers invited?"
And here he is himself, Jehovah-Jireh's Loki. This youngster is the sire for next year's lamb crop - er, um...provided he figured out what he's supposed to actually do with the girls. I have seen him try to court the girls off and on, but not I haven't actually witnessed Loki and any of the ladies "in action", so to speak.
Loki is the result of AI breeding. (Artificial Insemination) His sire, Island Skeld, is quite a nice looking and very well-bred ram. All of Skeld's F1 lambs (the first offspring resulting from an AI breeding) are white, like Loki. But when I started looking at the F2 generation, I saw lots of spots and colors showing up. We may have white, or some very interesting colors this spring. As most shepherds will tell you, lambing is very much like Christmas can be very surprised at the outcome as well as excited in anticipation of what you might get.
Three of the girls in the Breeding Group: Loretta, Amanda, and Ailee.

Lacey must be gone walkabout or in the barn finishing up what everyone else left in the feed pans this morning. Lacey was the first ewe I placed in with Loki. I'll need to start watching her next month for signs of impending birth if she settled soon after they were penned together.
I'm not really used to having breeding spread out this way - a ewe every week until they were all in with the ram. Loki was supposed to come with another ram lamb his age, but for some reason that didn't happen. I needed to put him in with other sheep for company but the wethers would have really bashed him as he was so young and small at the time. Lacey is the sweetest ewe I have as well as the smallest so I decided she should be the first to meet Loki. She's both protected him as if he was her lamb and also become smitten with him as her paramour. She thinks I was looking at something else, but I saw her batting those big brown eyes at this little Hunk-O-Ram. ;-)
Lacey early last year after shearing.

So, c'mon guys and gals...I've missed having lambs around and I know you girls have too. Who knows what we'll get? I'm not sure, but I can hardly wait for spring and lambing. :)
...and we have a growing list of people wanting Sheep Thrills Farm sheep. Time to get to work, Loki!


Michelle said...

I clicked on the Island Skeld link and could REALLY see a family resemblance in Loki! What color is Loki's dam? I have turned my ewes in with the ram early (end of September) every year, but still haven't had anyone lamb until mid-March at the earliest, so I would be surprised if Lacey lambs in mid-winter. So happy to hear you have a waiting list for lambs! Good on ya'!

Theresa said...

I guess lambing is like a box of chocolates! You never know what you'll get but it's all good. ;-)
What pretty girls and Loki is an awfully handsome ram.

Kathy said...

Michelle - Loki's dam is white. But, that being said, I don't think she's a solid white. Loki has "flecks" on his face, eyeliner around the eyes and a few other "specks" which indicate there's something else going on. ;) When Lois looked at him she saw it too, even with the pink tongue we suspect some color/markings. Mother Nature will have the last word - as always.

Theresa, you're so very right..."it's all good". :)

Tammy said...

He is a pretty little boy, love the horn set. It'll be exciting for you to have lambs again...and I'm hoping that there are a good number of ewe lambs for you! Looks like lambing is going to be spread out here over several weeks, maybe months.. ha.. From the ewe who was bred on Oct. 15 (the day I put them together) to the ones just now starting to cycle.
Take care,