Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sheep in the Bedroom

Apparently I suck at guessing lamb births this year!

I have 7 ewes crammed in the lambing pens inside, puffing like steam engines, eating huge mounds of hay, and diligently refusing to give birth on their due dates. Meanwhile, out in the paddock, Teasle---one of my yearling ewes---decides to give birth right after evening feeding time!

I didn't know what her due date was, but it's fairly unusual for a yearling to come into heat and get bred before all the more mature ewes, so I wasn't expecting her to be due now.

Still, she lambed like a champ, delivered the baby unassisted, and figured out the whole nursing thing without any coaching. Not bad for a first-time mom!

The baby is a moorit mouflon single ewe, weighing 6 lb., 7 oz. Since her mother is one of my best fleece sheep and her father, Tut, has an excellent meat build, I'm hoping this little girl gets the best of both worlds.

There's a good chance she'll be a keeper for us. We're naming her Unity.

I wanted Unity and her mom to come inside one of the lambing pens for a day or two so I can keep my eye on them better. So I had to do some rearranging in the barn. It wasn't easy, because some of the ewes are temperamental towards each other and all of them are cranky this late in their pregnancy, so I had to be careful not to put anyone together that might beat each other up too much.

So, now Peri and Phoebe are sharing one pen. Inga and her lamb Una are in a pen. Paris has a private pen because she beats up anyone who comes near her lately. Trouble and Mona are sharing a makeshift pen in the corner. And Pandora had to give up her private pen to make room for Unity and Teasle.

So where could I put Pandora? I'd already filled the whole space with pens, except for a narrow aisle to allow me to get from the door to my bed and the other pens. Well, Pandora is very tame, so I decided she could just sleep in the aisle, next to my bed.

There are so many of them that are due at any moment now, I decided to sit out there and keep watch on them while I finished sorting through all my documents and receipts for the farm's income tax.

So I spent the past couple of hours sitting on a bed made out of hay bales, sorting through my tax documents while Pandora stood beside me, chewing her cud with her chin resting on my knee.

I do love a friendly sheep!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to make the tax chore bearable! Congrats on Unity, she is beautiful. -- Kris

Rhea said...

Her chin on your knee? That is unbelievably sweet!

Congrata on baby Unity! It's hilarious wondering who's going to give birth next...we could do some gambling on it or something. lol

Anonymous said...

I'm so jealous! You're having the time of your life with your sheep in your cozy hay bale bed! LOL So how do sheep feel about tax documents? Let them nibble on the edges of the forms and make the tax man wonder what did it! LOL