Early morning kerfuffle

Ram lamb #1420 arrived yesterday, along with sister, before the sun. I was up at four, loaded wood into the cook-stove and was in the truck by quarter past. Just as I was about to heave the door I heard a ewe call, I paused for a moment. I heard her again, and then a lamb. And then the ewe. And then the lamb. I started the truck and turned the head lights on, they cast light out into the pasture and between two sheds. I pulled the truck forward and to the left a bit such that light shined into the bigger shed to the south. Sure enough there were two sets of tiny eyeballs, blinking in the brightness. This particular shed is quite large and is divided in the middle by a supporting wall. As I squinted into the illuminated bays I could see that one newborn was on one side of the wall and the other was on the other side. The ewe was beside herself, running from bay-to-bay, and fretting at the calls of her babies, one always out of sight. Either she had delivered the two on opposite sides or somehow one of her little ones had wandered in the darkness. What would you have done? I was wearing my good school shoes, already behind schedule, and didn’t want to take the time to run back to the house to change into my barn boots. I kept the truck running, made my way through the barn, into the pasture, and then out to the shed. It took just a second to catch up little #1419 and to unite her with her brother. June was delighted and could now concentrate on the business at hand, and in one place. I jumped back into the truck, heaved the door, and pulled it in gear. The day was bright and sunny. With afternoon chores behind me I took up the D600 and went out to take some lamb portraits. Here’s June and #1420, neither seemed any worse for wear for having been involved in a bit of predawn confusion.



18 thoughts on “Early morning kerfuffle

  1. My favourite thing about lambs (which is not the smell of their fleece – ugh) was their bounce, that four-legged spring they do, popping themselves across the ground at a good speed. They look like they have some finn in their breeding, or am I wrong?

    • You don’t like the smell of raw fleece! I do. Wait, no, let me qualify that. I don’t like the smell of wet fleece AND I do not like the smell of rams fleeces. We are in agreement however that lamb ‘bouncing’ is quite something to see. Nearly all of ours are currently at their most springy … it’s something to watch a number of them hop-hop-hopping across the pasture together. They grow out of that stage quickly however … too bad. Ours are all either pure Shetlands or Shetland crosses (with very tiny bits (after all of these years) of border leicester and cheviot). D

      • I sometimes wonder if our attraction or repulsion to things is connected to allergies (something for me to check into); my skin does not agree with lanolin. And I see on Wikipedia that Shetlands and Finnsheep are in the same group of breeds, so there may be some visual similarities. The wool looks fine … and seeing some of Joanna’s finished wool projects, I assume it must be quite lovely.

  2. Now for one time I cannot resist to utter the stereotype (social-media-cat-picture-style): Aaaaw so cute!
    Serious question: Do you find them “cute”, too? Or does this impression go away if you “work” with them so to speak? Also … they should be the new cats (in terms of cuteness). I also find the expressions on their faces deceptively “human” – the lambs look cheeky and the mothers definitely need to chide them from time to time!

    • Yes Elke, they are pretty cute when first born. But you are correct in pointing out that that cuteness wears pretty thin as they grow up. Most all breeds of livestock have their particular frustrations, when handling and especially when they are older … and sheep are, as I’m sure you can guess, no exception. Like any animals, I suppose, they’re just fun to watch at this age. They are, however, at the same time … little trouble makers. D

  3. And the shoes: are they muddy or okay? It’s a battle, isn’t it! I seem to have boots everywhere and still not enough 🙂 at any rate it all looks well worth the effort.

  4. Looks like newborns of any species can give their mothers a run for their money! So adorable. Good timing for everyone involved!

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