Sneaky Ewe

Princess has been sleeping in the lambing pen the last few nights due to her histrionics about how she’s going to lamb any minute. This morning I discovered one of the girls in the main Clubhouse had started nest-building during the night.

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It’s hard to see the size of the nest in a photograph, but in the shadowy oval the bedding is scraped away all the way down to the dirt, which is quite a ways down by this point in winter. The only time I’ve seen the ewes make nests like that is when they’re getting ready to lamb. I had a nice thick straw pack down for Lady when she lambed last year and she burrowed all the way down to have Neo on the bare ground. The displaced hay makes a nice barrier against the cold, which I’m assuming is why they do it.

I’m not sure which of the girls made this cozy little nest, but I’m making an educated guess that it was Duchess. Nova and Lady aren’t due to lamb until March, but Duchess was sneaky and didn’t let me see when she came in heat, so I’m not sure when she’s due. She doesn’t look like she’s ready to lamb, but she’s been acting a bit odd all day and it would be just like her to use Princess as a distraction and lamb when I’m not looking.

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“I look sweet and shy, but I’m really a sneaky ninja sheep!”

Duchess doesn’t get into messes as often as the others, but when she does it’s never anything minor. We’re supposed to have a blizzard tonight with either 5-8″ or 6-10″ of accumulated snow depending on which weather service you believe, so it would be a just dandy time for her to lamb. This whole winter the weather’s been remarkably mild, then right when the lambs are due it turns into snowmageddon. Figures.

I think I may just leave everyone together tonight so they can snuggle up close. I’m probably setting myself up for mismothering problems, but the lambing pen door freezes closed easily and I’d hate for someone to get stuck in there for however long the snow lasts. That would be bad, since I can’t fill that feeder from the outside the way I can the boys’ feeder. If Princess or Duchess decide to lamb they’re just going to have to do it in close quarters and keep the rest of the ewes away on their own.

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10 thoughts on “Sneaky Ewe

  1. The fracas will make Ms Hellman’s play “The Women” look like a peaceful tea party at the minister’s wife’s living room. Good luck!

  2. Princess is expecting half-Liam babies, right? Can’t wait to see them! I know there are a lot of differences between Soays and Shetlands so this may not apply, but with the Shetlands I’ve never separated them for lambing. I let them lamb wherever they want. When the lambs are born (or as soon as I find them, as it often happens when I’m not looking) I’ll put them in a stall by themselves for a few hours to keep an eye on them and make sure everyone is doing well. If the babies have warm mouths and full bellies after a few hours and the placenta passed without problems and everyone is acting normal then I let them back out with the flock. We aren’t lambing this year, and not expecting kids till May, so I’m looking forward to enjoying your lambs vicariously!

    • Yes, Princess is having Liam lambies! I think she’ll be fine, it’s Duchess and Nova I’m mainly worried about mismothering since they’re first-time mamas and more likely to get confused by the whole thing.

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