02 April 2007

Out to Pasture

We moved Maybelle and her twin ewe lambs (as yet unnamed) out to the pasture today. They had a nice long weekend to get established in the barn, but were clearly getting antsy in that small space.

As my son milked the goat early this morning, my daughter and I used a time-tested method for getting a sheep to move: take her lambs, start walking slowly, and wait for her to follow. I carried one lamb and my daughter took the other. Maybelle let out a long series of protest grunts (it's a sort of guttural nickering sound), but was soon chasing us through the barn, down the driveway, and out to the pasture gate. The rest of the flock crowded around to witness the spectacle, and we soon had Maybelle back in with them. The lambs began nursing, and all was well.

Below is a "family photo" of sorts. Maybelle is in the center, with her two new lambs (and Scooter Puppy still trying to herd them all). Peeking around her and sniffing one lamb is Dilemma, the sire of these two lambs. To the far right is Coco Puff (no, we still haven't gotten him butchered), the ram Maybelle gave birth to two years ago.The two lambs appear to be solid black, but they actually have some white spots in various places (not visible in this photo). It will be interesting to see how their colors and color patterns develop as they get older. Icelandic Sheep are fascinating that way.

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