Lamb Lag


It’s official.  Lambing’s done.  I have a severe case of  lamb-lag brought on by  five weeks of not sleeping through the night, heading to the barn at all hours, eating sporadically.    Our last lambs arrived during this past week.  Holly was alone in the barn to help the last set of twins into the world, while I was out of town.   She called to tell me they were on their way and then handled everything beautifully on her own – her first solo delivery.  I’m so proud of her.


This year’s lambing spanned four weeks.  35 lambs, 9  ewes 26  rams!   While I wish the gender numbers were reversed,  it was our smoothest season ever.  Not a a single loss.  A happy barn full of mothers and babes and one tired shepherd.

The wide range in lamb ages makes management a little tricky.  Developmentally, there’s quite a difference between a four week old lamb who has already filled out like a barrel and doubled his birth weight and a twiggy legged, dewey-eyed newborn.  I like to give the young ones time and space to take in their new world before turning them out with the wild and woolly crowd.  While the older lambs and ewes were out in the south pasture one morning, I let the late lambs and moms out of their pens so they could explore the barn in peace.  Here two ewes tentatively inspect each other’s lambs.


And here a newcomer inspects his shaggy nanny.


Some of the bolder lambs now help out with barn chores . . .


Anything new is an adventure, as they get out into the world.  I love watching a lamb ford its first puddle or rip its first tiny mouthful of  turf or take its first outdoor nap nestled beside a hummock in the pasture.



In the midst of the lamb-a-thon, I’ve also been busy preparing for my spring fiber shows.  New Hampshire Sheep and Wool is just a week away.  It’s always a challenge having spring shows on the heals of lambing season with not much breathing room in between.  I figure I will recover from lamb lag,  read my mail,  put the house and studio back in order some time in June, maybe.   The barn-keeping is actually in pretty good shape.   The ewes are dressed in fresh coats, the birthing towels have been washed and stored for next year.

As for my housekeeping  . . .




copyright 2008 Barbara Parry, Foxfire Fiber & Designs.  All rights reserved.

Foxfire Fiber & Designs at Springdelle Farm