Winter Lambing

I let my rams stay with the girls most of the year. Usually I’ve had late Feburary lambs (okay, out of the two years I’ve been doing this I have). Not going to be so this coming winter.

The rams been a psychotic ball of hormones lately. He mostly runs around licking his lips *trying* to fulfill his urges. He saw Polly rubbing against me and got all jelly. We had a small fight and he considered ramming me for a few seconds…..which might have resulted in a wood beam launched into his face.

 

Maybe.

 

Then Rosie and he have been challenging (and courting?!) each other through the fence. He somehow blasted through and got in a fight with her last night (I have GOT to finish the inside fencing!). I got them separate, but by golly, he has been a pill! It honestly looks like his testicles are a bit bigger these days.

 

Peppercorn, the pig, has been in standing heat for the last 2 days and she’s been running around screaming “GRAAAAAA!!!! I NEED A MAAAAAAAN!”  Okay, not quite, but she has been running around screaming, biting, and trying to tear the gate off its hinges. I’ve gone out and sat on her back and given her ear scratches for a minute to make her settle. (actually, it probably just makes her feel woozy, but whatever, she stops screaming for a while) I am pretty sure the ram his smelling her hormones and getting excited (he has tried mounting the pigs many times before).

So while I was at work I moved the ewes and ram to a temporary pen far away from Rosie and the other pigs so i didn’t have to worry about him busting through the fence to reach the pigs. I got home and let them back in there normal pen and got to doing my evening chores when lo and behold the cause of all the strife may be passing: Polly was coming into heat the last few days. I figured as much as she kept trying to rub against me whenever she saw me.

So they went about doing their thing and must have been for most of the day: Polly is walking rather stiffly. Well, so is the ram. I would assume, then, that this will be a successful mating and I will have lambs in 145 days. That means…

 

January. January 26th. The middle of winter. Oh great. That means I *need* alfalfa and good hay and then a good, warm set up for milking, and a warm safe place to lamb should the weather be too terrible for pasture lambing. But! I will get a nice long lactation period! And I have a date for at least one lambing.

I assume that Ash is bred already…I have not seen them do anything, but the ram has stopped chasing her around all day and she has a funny look in her eyes. The ewe lambs I do not believe are bred yet. In my experience they should take another month or two to come into heat though Friar Tuck is certainly large enough to breed safely. Blaze is probably okay-ish? I think overall she is going to end up a very small sheep. The ram lamb is certainly ready to do his job, but he has yet to express interest in Blaze so I assume she is not near cycling yet, He has expressed interest in Tuck, but to no avail that I’ve seen.

So winter lambs it is! This should hopefully give me the drive to finish the barn. And even more hopefully the ram will settle the heck down or he is moving away. 

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2 thoughts on “Winter Lambing

  1. cecilia

    My big ram is already in with my big ewe but my problem is that I have his two daughters in another field and i cannot find another ram to borrow. How do you feel about putting the dads to their daughters. I know they do it in the wild but it always feels a little unsettling.. c

    Reply
    1. erikamay85 Post author

      So long as you use the lambs for butcher I see no problem. I would not use them as breeding stock unless there was a very specific trait I was trying to isolate. One generation of inbreeding usually isn’t a problem unless the genetic lines are close, and it can also give you a head up of any genetic disorders the ram may be carrying because if he has a problem it will show up in those babies..

      Reply

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