Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Second Set of Twins

Let's just say that it's not easy getting a good picture of wobbly half day old lambs. Trying to get 2 in the picture adds to the fun. In the first picture, you can see why shearing ewes before lambing helps out the lambs. Whoops! Not to worry, this lamb has been nursing very well, but you can see that a newborn can go a little astray looking for the right place to latch on! She did nose around to the other side, but imagine what this would look like if the ewe wasn't sheared.
Hey! We have numbers now JUST LIKE MOM ......

Yes, the lambs are marked with the same number as the ewe's ear tag. Since this set of twins are both ewe lambs, one is "39" and one is "39 dot". That way, when the lambs are in a group or at a distance, we can tell who they are and to which ewe they belong. Even a sick sheep can blend in and move with the flock when you're tryng to approach and get a better look at them. At Wild Rose Farm we find it easier to spray mark the lambs so that we can pick out and evaluate them without having to get right on top of them. Shortly, they will sport small numbered ear tags of their own --- right ears for ram lambs and left ears for ewe lambs. It's just another way to sort them out without having to check for plumbing! When a ewe lamb graduates and is added to our flock, we place her permanent ear tag in the right ear.

And finally, to those who worry about the self-esteem of sheep who are "just numbers", here's a quote from a wise old extension agent ..... "IF A SHEEP HAS A NAME, IT'S TOO FAT!". In other words, it's a pet and is likely to be overfed and give you trouble giving birth at lambing time. Who am I to argue with an extension agent?

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