This week the chickens resumed laying, I found out that hay is not a good bedding to use when keeping sheep in your basement, caught a funny video of Flower and Sheena, and made Irish Stew after spending a week trying to find lamb and/or mutton.
Last night Flower went into labor just before 10pm and just after 10:30pm she gave birth to a healthy and rambunctious little ewe lamb! While I found a lot of video's of sheep giving birth there were very few of an ewe in the first stages of labor. So I took a video of Flower in the first stages of labor prior to her water breaking. Video and pictures of Sheena (Flower's daughter) after the jump.
THEY'RE OUT!!! Woohoo! Yesterday I finally moved all of the chicks from the basement out to the coop with the rest of the chickens. Normally it's a bad idea to just plop a bunch of unknown birds together, but I did it during the evening when everyone was getting ready to sleep. Dumpling fought a little bit with some of the hens, but our older rooster Zorro didn't even care, and let Dumpling take over as head rooster without a fight. Now tonight I will be cleaning up the basement so the furnace people can come and fix it - cause I think all the dust has gotten into the furnace and it needs a good cleaning. After that we will be setting up a bigger pen to put Flower in so I can keep and eye on her.
Yes, Flower is most definitely preggo and I'm a nervous mess over it. She is probably due within the next few weeks so I want to get her over to our house asap so she has time to settle in before she gives birth. The only place we have to put her that is quite and secure is our basement - I can't wait until we move and have a barn - basements are not built for this kind of use! As she gets bigger I grow more neurotic. I have a list of supplies that I need to get from Tractor Supply and I'm hoping that everything goes smooth so I don't have to call my veterinarian friend over in the middle of the night. For anyone else that is a first timer at this whole lambing thing here is the list of supplies I need.
Lube (i.e. Vaseline or you can buy the livestock stuff at TS, or KY if you have some lying around) ~ just incase the lamb gets stuck in the birthing canal.
Gloves ~ because it's gonna be messy - I have some regular gloves but I may need the ones that go up your arm just incase.
Iodine w/cup ~ to disinfect the umbilical cord area on the lamb.
Feeding Tube w/ syringe ~ just incase I need to force feed the lamb.
Electrolytes ~ another just incase the lamb is dehydrated.
Nutrient Drench ~ incase the lamb needs a pick me-up, it’s like a multi-vitamin.
Pritchard Nipples & Bottles ~ for feeding the lambs if Flower can't.
Colostrum ~ Just incase Flower doesn't or can't nurse.
Milk Replacer ~ If either I decided to put Flower back with the rest of the herd and keep the lamb(s) at the house, or if Flower can't or won't nurse.
Flower is getting HUGE! I though she was just packing on the pounds because its winter and her coat was thicker, but now I'm not so sure. I have been looking at photos of pregnant sheep and her belly looks similar. I need to keep a close eye on her, because if she is preggo she should be due sometime in March. The last time Dunkin was together with the females was in October, and at the time he was only 5mth old! I can't wait to see what happens!
Jeff wants meat goats…. which I’m fine with, but I like sheep better. I LOVE my Shetlands, but raising the breed just for meat doesn’t make sense and I have no idea what to do with their wool. (If anyone knows how to shear sheep I will give you their wool in exchange) So I have found a breed of sheep I think would work great for us. They are a larger sheep, are naturally disease resistant, birth easy, you don’t have to dock their tails, and they shed in the spring so no shearing! Unfortunately there are only a handful of them in the US. They are called Wiltshire Horn Sheep and they are super popular in Australia, and gaining popularity in the US. Because their coat adjusts to the climate they are in they can be raised in cold and warm climates. The Wiltshire is an ancient British breed of sheep that nearly went extinct in the early 20th century. The breed was exported to the US where they were used to breed the modern Katahdin sheep.
I would love to get my hands on a small herd of these sheep, but it looks like if I want them I am going to have to travel and pay out the noise for the real deal and not a hybrid. Most of the other heritage hair sheep breeds are smaller and used primarily for trophy hunting, so they have big horns but their bodies are smaller and they are more adapted to warmer climates. If anyone knows of where I can find a few of these beauties either leave a comment below or send me an email KaylaP@theimpulsivefarmer.com
Kayla lives with her family in South Dayton, NY. She along with her husband Jeff and daughter Tanner run a small farm raising all sorts of animals.