Observations: Lambs & Ewes

Tupelo arial I

Tupelo arial II

Tupelo arial III

I've been observing the lambs as their "personalities" emerge. It's always interesting to see which ones are most inquisitive, the ones who are always tugging on the leg of my jeans while I fill buckets or feed the bottle lambs. Not surprising that some of the most friendly lambs are out of my most gregarious ewes. Tupelo's ewe-ling, Arial, demanded some chin scratching as I was walking the yard this afternoon. When I stopped to visit, her momma came over for her share. And so I enjoyed a pleasant moment with both of them, (above). 

Not all lambs are naturally this friendly. A handful are wild and crazy-skittish. Can't get near them without sending them scrambling off in all directions. Since I'm already getting calls from people looking for replacement animals for their own flocks, I'm making early notes of the characteristics of the lambs – structure, vigor, wool type and follicle density (though this is easier to see later, as fleece grows in). Some of the black lambs appear to have the finest fleece. The largest lambs are the cross-breds; prettiest lambs come from Teaberry.

Naturally, I'm noticing temperaments. Chai's ram lambs are little brutes, that I can see already, tormenting poor Crackerjack when he's trying to get some rest. In the comments to the videos, some of you have asked who starts the "lamb-pedes". I've been watching and thinking about this. The lambs almost all have the same idea simultaneously when the mothers go the feeders. It clears out the center of the barn so the whole aisle is wide open, like a 70' runway. Now that the door is open at the south end, they go sailing right out into the yard. The oldest, larger lambs (the ones with all the confidence) lead the pack. It's too funny to watch the youngest ones trying to keep up with the "cool kids". I was talking to another shepherd this morning and it's the same way over at his barn. It's what lambsters do.


Today's the last day to enter this week's giveaway for the Foxfire Fiber Cormo Silk Alpaca yarn and a copy of Clara Parkes' A Knitters' Book of Wool. Also giving away copies of the spring issue of Living Crafts magazine. Scroll back to last Friday's post if you'd like to enter.