4 New Babies Today

Today’s first baby was born this afternoon to Chevelle. Chevelle chose to give birth in the middle of the flock as they gathered at the barn door, demanding to be let back inside. Within a few minutes of exiting the birth canal, little boy Chevron (10 lb) was in the ditch, getting covered with dirt. Chevelle was cleaning him off and bonding with him among everyone else’s feet. Things probably still would have been fine if Frannie, who was also in labor, hadn’t decided to claim Chevron as her own. I had a hell of a time getting her away from the lamb. Finally had to move Chevelle and Chevron to the other side of the gate.SDC11862

Frannie was desolate that she could not reach “her” lamb.

In the mean time, Minnie was busy giving birth to her lamb under the apple tree on the other side of the barn.

Minnie, a first-timer, had the good sense to have her lamb in the shade and away from the others. Her boy, Mickey, weighed in at 10 lb as well. Minnie took to motherhood like she had been doing it all her life.

While I was getting Mickey and Minnie and Chevelle and Chevron into the barn, Frannie dropped her first lamb in the barnyard.

Luckily Frannie no longer had any interest in Chevron. She was happily cleaning off her little girl, Farah, when I left to get some lunch. Checked in when I finished eating to find that Frannie’s second girl, Fawcet, had safely arrived.

Frannie was busy cleaning off Fawcet and all seemed well. I left to do some brush-hogging. Decided to do a last check before I headed up to the house for the night. That is when I discovered that Frannie had decided to reject Farah. She still wanted Fawcet, but wanted nothing to do with Farah. STUPID SHEEP! First she tries to claim another ewe’s lamb, then she rejects one of her own.

I tried the old trick of rubbing Farah with Fawcet’s placenta to make her smell like the accepted lamb. Frannie wasn’t having any of it. Maybe because the placenta was now cold? I also tried rubbing the lamb and Frannie’s nose with some of Frannie’s discharge. She still wasn’t going for it. In the end I tied Frannie (after a brief, back-wrenching wrestling match) and held her still so Farah could nurse. Laid her down next to Fawcet whose belly was already full. I am hoping morning will show a wiser Frannie, but am not counting on it.

Three new babies yesterday, 4 new babies today. That means some 5 months ago Spaulding bred 6 ewes in 2 days. I gotta tell you, I am impressed. No wonder he lost so much weight when he first arrived. (He has gained it back since.) Sissy and I were a bit concerned that, being a baby doll sheep, Spaulding would sire smaller lambs than we usually get. However, at the time we were desperate. We just needed any sperm donor for the girls, quick. And we didn’t need to worry. We have 20 lambs so far (not even halfway through yet) and they have all been between 8 and 14 pounds. And they are growing very well. They are all nice and solid. Way to go Spaulding! And he has a great personality to boot. I can walk through the barn and the pasture and never have to worry about being attacked. IT IS AWESOME! I’m pretty sure we will be using him for next year’s breeding season, too. Thank you so much Mary and Robbie Spaulding!

At 48 I Participated in My First 3-Way Tonight…

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I got no pleasure from it, but immense satisfaction.

In the photo is Bear, one of my favorite sheep. When I first started helping with the sheep they all looked alike to me. I didn’t know them, they didn’t know me and they were all very skittish around me. Bear was my very first sheep friend. She came to me long before any of the others. I learned her face when I couldn’t recognize any of the others. She has been my cuddle buddy for years, now. She even ran interference for me when our last ram was trying to kill me. When he was backing up to make a charge at me she would stand between us and slow his momentum. She is sometimes a pain right in the ass begging for scratches.

She has not lambed for 2 years now. I am firmly convinced it’s because she refused to breed with Riley because she didn’t like how mean he was to me. Sissy keeps threatening to send her to auction because she hasn’t bred. I am fighting her on it, and she is probably only joking. But when opportunity presented tonight, I didn’t want to take any chances.

I noticed Spaulding showing a lot of interest in Bear when I let the sheep out today. A few visits to the barnyard during chore time showed Spaulding wanting desperately to  get close to her with Bear trying desperately to keep away from him. Every time I checked Spaulding was curling his lip and chasing Bear. Bear was giving him mixed signals, occasionally squatting to pee in front of him so he could smell the hormones but then running away. She was definitely in heat, but would not stand for him.

I want Bear to lamb this year. Very much. Not just so Sissy won’t have an excuse to sell her. I also want more Bear offspring. Her lambs, grand lambs, and great grand lamps are (in my opinion) some of the nicest sheep we have.

I texted Sissy that Bear wouldn’t stand for Spaulding, while clearly in heat. Sissy texted back that maybe she is a lesbian. It could happen, but in Bear’s case I have never observed homosexual activity on her part. What I have observed is what I believe could be called humaniality. Every day she drives me nuts, begging for lovin’. Like beastiality in reverse.

So, when she ran over for scratches after eating her supper tonight I knelt down and put my arms around her neck to scratch her back. She rested her head on my shoulder and just enjoyed the scratching. Spaulding was right behind her, sniffing and looking frustrated. When he realized Bear was not running from him it was clear he did not want to waste the opportunity, but was hesitant because I was right there. I found just the right spot on Bear’s back to make her start swaying back and forth and chomp her lips. That was too much for Spaulding. He literally jumped into action. Bear stiffened as if to run for a second, but I just scratched a little harder and she decided to stay put. It was a new perspective for me, looking a ram right in the face from inches away while he did his job. Twice more before I left the barn for the night Bear asked for scratches and I held her while Spaulding made sperm deposits. I don’t know about the sheep, but I feel kinda dirty. But if those 3-ways got enough sperm into Bear to make a lamb or two, it was totally worth it!

Great for more than one reason

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I can’t swear to it, but I think Spaulding has lost a bit of weight in the 4 days he’s been here. The girls are really giving him a workout. Even at feeding times he can’t settle down to eat. He will take a mouthful of food and, while chewing it, make a tour of the barn, sniffing butts.

Obviously, the most important thing about him being here is breeding. But MY favorite thing about him is his complete lack of interest in me. Unlike our last ram, Riley “the evil, maniacal, idiotic, pain-in-the-ass, deranged, out-to-get-me attempted assassin”, Spaulding does not make daily attempts to injure, maim, or kill me. I have to say, I am really enjoying having a fully mature ram in the barn who completely ignores me.

Look at that grin on Spaulding’s face!

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Spaulding is not wasting any time. The girls aren’t either. Doing chores this morning I saw him mounting Boop several times and Marty once. He was also chasing after Fawn, Pita, Brandy, and Freckles. They wouldn’t stand for him yet, but probably have by the time I am writing this. Come May we are gonna have some babies! I can smell the testosterone in the barn. Didn’t smell that when it was just Dustin (Dudley) in the barn. The girls are happy. I am happy. Spaulding is very happy. I am recommending to Sissy that she dose him with Nutri-Drench. He is going to wear himself out!