I expected Duchess to have a single mahogany lamb sometime in early March, or perhaps to not lamb at all. She surprised me by having twins in mid-late February, one with extensive white spotting. Duke and Duchess are both dark mahogany, where did those spots come from?
Princess, as always, refused to be outdone. I expected fluffy white twins from her, and instead last night she produced a single, huge, dark brown ram. He’s fully twice the size of Mira, and I think he’s closer to three times her size. Where Mira didn’t really get the hang of walking easily until she was close to 24 hours old, and is still a bit wobbly sometimes, this little guy wasn’t even dry yet and was running around the Clubhouse with Princess chasing after him, trying to finish drying him off. This morning he even tried a few experimental hops.
Last night was warmer than it has been lately, and this lamb is obviously healthy and fully developed, so they probably would have been fine outside, but I brought them into the basement jugs anyway. Princess bellowed and butted me all the way to the house for daring to carry off her baby, but I’m sure she was happy to get to a nice, cozy jug where Jr couldn’t run away from her ministrations so easily.
The big boy last night, just after I brought them in.
With Princess, thank God, having enough milk isn’t going to be an issue. This isn’t Princess’s first go-around at this, and she was able to guide the lamb to the milk bar with no trouble. I was grateful she seemed more concerned about her baby than with getting attention, for once. I’ve had all the emergency drama I can take for one lambing season.
“This baby is mine, don’t touch him!”
Most of the pictures I took this morning turned into pictures of Princess’s side. She’s much more paranoid about this lamb than she was about Nova. I think it freaked her out that Duchess went into the house with two lambs and came back with none.
Before Princess lambed I’d thought about trying to graft Mira onto her if she had a single, but even if I could have managed it the size difference is too extreme for that to have worked. Her big, vigorous boy would have crowded out dainty little Mira.
“All the milk is mine!”
He doesn’t have a name yet, because all the names on my list were snow-related and geared towards white lambs. I’m having trouble thinking of something for a big, dark lamb. So far I’ve just been calling him Junior, but he’ll need a better name than that, even if it’s just on paper. He may not have Liam’s coloring, but there is definitely something Shetland-ish about the face and build. It’ll be a while yet before I know who he took after in the wool department.
Mira is doing great, even though she is tiny– she’s 2.6lbs as of this morning, and an average newborn Soay lamb is 4-5lbs, She’s sleeping, walking, eating… and all those other things that lambs do.
“I’m going to catch up to that big bruiser in the basement, just watch me!”
She has lovely red-brown wool, but I don’t have any good pictures of it because she gets too cold without her sweater, even in the house. It’ll be interesting to get a picture of the two side by side, when Princess decides to let the “little” guy out from behind her.