On the weekend of January 27-28, we borrowed a sheep grooming stand from Brenda and Bill Leppo so we could take a good look at each of our sheep. We have never used one before–very handy, you get the sheep onto a metal stand and place their head in a little head stall so that it is secure, then crank the winch to raise the stand to a working height. It was easy to give shots, check and trim feet, and trim around the backside in preparation for lambing. All have very good condition, though Ruth would have to be described as fat!
Everything went well, except that none of the ewes, even the older, experienced mothers, had any kind of udder development. Either we will have no lambs this year at all, or they will arrive quite late, March or April.
If there are no lambs, there will still be many lovely fleeces. We have four market lambs in the group, so there is plenty of meat for us.
We wondered about Ringo the ram when we let him in with the ewes last fall. He was definitely interested, but didn’t seem to know what to do. This always happens when we get a new ram as a lamb, but we have never had a single instance where adult ewes were not bred. We will know if Ringo figured it out in a month or two!
As part of the borrowing process, we got to see Brenda and Bill’s farm and studio, and they came the next day to see ours. One always learns from these exchanges and it’s fun to get to know fellow sheep producers better.