Tag Archives: lambs

A Clean Room Makes a Happy Mom….In All Species

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 by Sarah

Remember all those times when you were younger (and probably even some of you who are older) When your mom would walk into your messy room and ask “Were you raised in a barn?” when referring to the mess? In my case, most of my childhood I probably WAS found in the barn,  though I think most people are ill-informed.

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As farmers its our job to make sure our animals stay healthy. This job entails making sure they have the proper diet, aka no junk food! It also means they need clean water, the rule of thumb on my farm is if you wouldn’t drink the water available to the sheep, why should they? Lastly, it means making sure they have a clean ‘room’! This doesn’t mean you pick up their toys and clothes, it means giving them fresh straw so they aren’t eating and sleeping in dirty conditions.

It only takes a few hours a few times a month to “bed the barn” (which means putting down the straw in all of their pens), but you can tell everyone enjoys having a clean ‘room’.

Here is a frequent reaction we get:

 

 

New Lambs on the Ground

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2013 by Sarah

When lambing season comes on our farm, it is all hands on deck.  Lambing season is a month-long period when all are ewes are having their lambs. It can be a hectic time on the farm, filled with late nights, early mornings and many, many trips to the barn.

A typical day starts with someone (and I’ll admit it’s usually my dad) getting up at 6a.m to go to the barn and make sure that if any lambs had been born through the night, that they are content in their surroundings and healthy.

We take the lambs and their mothers and put them in a pen by themselves so they can bond and have their own space so the lamb can learn to eat, walk and get to know what their mother smells like.

Knowing their mother’s smell is important because when they are turned in with other lambs and ewes they need to know who their mother is. Lastly we give them a shot of Nutri-Drench or “Wonder Juice” as we call it on our farm. It’s a liquid molasses mixture filled with all sorts of vitamins and minerals, it really works wonders on the lambs, hence the name! The lamb should be up and trying to drink within ten minutes.

  

Their first steps are always a bit shaky, but they get the hang of it in no time. This picture was taken about 10 minutes after he was born.

We also check that there are no ewes giving birth then, if they are then we’ll usually help with the birth (called “pulling”). Pulling a lamb doesn’t hurt the mother; it just speeds up the process. This also allows us to check and make sure there are no complications with the birthing process. Just like in humans, lambs can be positioned incorrectly inside the mother, which means they need a little bit of help.

Lastly, you take a look for and ewes that look like they will lamb soon, there are a few signs we look for when doing this. If she stop eating, or is off in a corner by herself, or even her skin colour can get brighter pink. These animals are the ones that we watch when we come to the barn in the future.

Once everyone is content we go on with our day but be sure to check the barn every few hours even in the middle of the night. It means long days on the farm when the lambs come, but completely worth it, especially when you see how cute they are! J