Lambing season is the most anticipated time of year for the shepherd. It is especially exciting for the Jacob Sheep shepherd as each lamb is so unique. The anticipation of what each ewe/ram combination will throw is very intriguing. This is Ruby Peak Cosmos with her ram lambs out of Shadow Mountain Flash. Flash is just barely a year old so he is an untested ram, but these 4 horned ram lambs look pretty promising. You never know what you will get when you mix the genes, Two, four, or six horns? Nice black spots, more of a black tapestry? Badger face or Panda Face? Blue eyes? Black or lilac wool? Fleece is very important here at Ruby Peak Farms so that adds a whole other dimension. There are so many combinations of genes at play here, the excitement to meet each lamb just builds and builds.
Here is Ruby Peak Clover with her two ram lambs born on Easter Sunday. This is their second day on pasture and they are really getting around and enjoying the sunshine. They will most likely be back at the barn by this afternoon as we expect a spring rain storm. This will make the grass grow, so no one is complaining!
I love watching the young lambs learn from their mama, They are born knowing to stick close so they will be safe. They very seldom leave their mama's side, and she keeps a very close eye on them. In the back ground of this photo is Sheep Ridge, the ancestral home of Big Horn Sheep in the Wallowa's.
Although it is spring in the Lostine Valley, it still looks to be winter in the high Wallowa's Our spring weather is quite variable, and we expect rain this afternoon, it could well be snow by this evening. In this dry climate, every bit of moisture is appreciated, no matter what color it is!
This is the first day out of the lambing jug for Cosmos and her lambs. She is very protective of these boys, or perhaps she just doesn't want to go back into the jug with them! Although the ewes lamb out in the open, or in the barn, whichever they choose, they spend 24-48 hours in the lambing jug so I can keep an eye on them, make sure the lambs are eating, and also band the lambs tails and put in their ear tags. Each lamb has a number so I can keep track of them, at least until they lose their ear tags! These two ram lambs were born on Earth Day 4/22/2014.
For the first week or two these lambs will not leave their mama's sides, and the mama's are very protective of their babies. They don't like to share them much. But it won't be long until the lambs will form a gang of wild and woolly free spirits. Their moms will take turns watching over them, so each of them can get a break. The little lambs will start eating the tender spring grass, and by 8 weeks they will only come back to nurse a few times a day. Now while their stomachs are as tiny as they are they nurse frequently for short periods of time. These ewes have nice big udders of milk to grow strong healthy lambs. I can't get enough of watching these babies grow...hope you enjoy it also!