Friday, April 4, 2008

Someone Else's Babies

Still no lambs yet from Phoebe. I did spend a very cozy night in my barn bed last night, though. I was quite comfortable, but poor Phoebe was not. She kept standing up and lying down all night long, unable to get comfortable.

I think her lambs are in there debating which one gets to come out first. "After you." "No, no, after you!" Last year, Phoebe had two 10-lb. lambs (average for an Icelandic lamb is about 5-7 lbs.), so it's possible she has a couple of big 'uns in there again this year. I expect it's tough trying to maneuver them around into position in such a tight space!

But for all of you who have been patiently (or impatiently) waiting to see lamb pictures, you don't have to be completely disappointed today. My friend Monica's Icelandic ewe Aleda, at Small Meadow Farm, had lambs this morning and she has pictures posted on her blog.

The momma ewe, Aleda, plus a few others from Monica's flock---including the Great Pyrenees guardian dog Mikey, who is also pictured on Monica's blog---are going to come and live here on my farm later this summer!


Amy said...

Ah, thank you! That helped. LOL

Nancy Chase said...

We aim to please! :-)

Keep watching... Besides Phoebe, I have about 5 ewes who are supposedly due around April 9 and another 3 who are due around the 13. Lambs are coming!

Rhea said...

Poor Phoebe, I feel for her. Up and down all night...reminds me too much of being pregnant myself!

I loved the baby lambs on your friend's blog. Too adorable! And, love the Great Pyranese! We used to have one growing up, a big white one named Bear. He was so sweet. Do you have dogs?

Nancy Chase said...

We have two big dogs, Ruby and Jesse, who have a shed and a big fenced run outside.

And then we have a little Pomeranian, Leeloo, who is inseparable from my husband.

I think we're going to try to find a new home for Ruby and Jesse before Mikey the Great Pyrenees comes to live here.

The "regular" dogs would most likely distract the guardian dog from his duties. And Ruby and Jesse don't really get that much attention anymore, now that we have a farm.

They can't run loose everywhere on the property anymore because of the sheep, and with farm life keeping us so busy, we never have time to take them for runs in the park like we used to.

So I'm sure they could have a lot more fun if we found them a new home.

Meanwhile, we're pleased to be getting Mikey the guardian dog, because neighbors have been seeing more and more coyotes in this area. I want to make sure my sheep are protected!

Rhea said...

Oh, no, those darn coyotes. Glad you have Mikey on his way. He looks so sweet. How does it work having a guard dog? Does he sleep with them?

Nancy Chase said...

Yes, the guardian dog is brought up with the sheep from the time he is a puppy. He lives with them, sleeps with them, spends all his days and nights with them. They are his "people" and he bonds with them.

His human owners give him his food and basic care, but avoid spending a lot of time playing with him or petting him very much, so he stays bonded more strongly with the sheep.

When Mikey comes here, he'll be coming with a group of sheep he already knows and who already know him, so that will help ease the transition to bonding with the rest of my flock.

Rhea said...

Aha, that's why he comes with his own sheep. Very cool. I think it'd be hard to avoid playing or petting him too much. :o)

Rhea said...

I had another question I realized I forgot to most sheep have two lambs? Or do they only have one?

Nancy Chase said...

It depends on the breed of sheep, and somewhat on the individual sheep.

For the Icelandics, usually they have 1 lamb their first time, and twins every year after that. But there's some variation, and some Icelandics can have triplets and even quads!