Serendipity’s twin ram lamb.
Reece’s triplet ‘tall’ ewe lamb.
Loving lots of black and moorit Shetland lambs!
I have been cleaning/re-organizing my ‘new’ work space for weeks now! I needed to C R E A T E something with a piece of scrap canvas that I had purchased (quite a while ago) at a tag sale for a whopping $3.
THIS wooly sheep blanket provided inspiration for my canvas wall art.
My husband made a DIY frame from scrap lumber to which we stapled the canvas.
I applied several coats of Gesso/primer. I then re-created (sketched) multiples of my ‘logo’ sheep onto the canvas.
Because I wanted to create a ewe-nique texture (and reproducible pattern) for each individual sheep, I used an assortment of plain old rubber stamps that I had in my collection.
I used black acrylic paint for the head and legs and hand-applied/inked the stamp (also with acrylic paint) and worked within the outline of my sheep to create a ‘wooly fleece’. Each sheep’s fleece is ewe-nique… can you see??
The finished canvas measures about 43-inches by 31-inches and will grace my wall in my work space… as soon as I attach some hanging hardware [wink]. TA DA… my “Sheep on the Go” wall art masterpiece.
I even added a black sheep. Every family/flock has one…??!
Today, I had my hands in the washtub again… playing with wool. I made a few more wet felted wooly ‘pelts’, like this one.
I used my Shetland wool and ‘raw’ Lincoln staples from my friend Chris’s flock. I love the added texture and luster of the Lincoln! Makes a nice chair pad or decorative table dressing?
Not to worry, a sheep friendly project! No animals were harmed by this project [heehee].
Monday night I made a mistake, well, sort-of. I had two remaining pregnant Shetland ewes, mother and daughter, (from a total of five) still waiting to lamb. Serendipity (aka Sara) and her daughter, Mystique, a first-time mama.
Just so you know, my Shetland sheep basically live in the field/pasture year-round, with modest housing accommodations consisting of several shed-style shelters. As in prior years, I like to bring them into the barn/lambing jug under my watchful eye for safekeeping, privacy… and for any birthing assistance that may be required. Mama and lambs usually remain in closed quarters – that is, in the lambing jug – for several days before they resume total freedom back in the pasture.
Apparently, I brought the ‘wrong’ pregnant ewe into the barn/lambing jug Monday night, past. Early Tuesday morning (at 4 a.m. when I do Round #1 chores), I was greeted by two new lambs IN THE FIELD. Mystique, first-time mama, had already given birth to twin ram lambs. They were dried-off and getting around on their own… presumably already having suckled from mama! I immediately shuffled mama and lambs into a barn stall where they could enjoy a well-deserved rest! Thankfully, all ended well!!???
Meanwhile, Sara, who was in the barn (from the night before), was fine at 4 a.m., displaying no impending birthing behavior! However, when I went out to fetch Coriander (my dairy goat) for 6 a.m. milking (Round #2 of chores), Sara had already given birth to twin lambs: one ewe and one ram lamb.
I guess mama didn’t want to be upstaged by her daughter!
And so the saying goes, all’s well that ends well!! That concludes our lambing season!!! YAY!!
As of late, every morning – before chores – I check my prego Shetland ewes. I play a bit of a lambing game, not knowing for sure and for certain WHEN breeding occurred. [They make ram breeding harnesses that colors/marks the ewe’s back-side when the ram mounts her, but, I don’t use one.]
Normally, I set-up my breeding pens in the Fall and unless I’m lucky/actually observe the ram breeding the ewe, I guesstimate lambing dates for Spring. The normal gestation period of a female sheep/ewe is approximately 147 days, ranging from 144 to 152 days. With a small flock, I know my sheep well. As the approximate lambing date approaches, I look for typical ‘signs‘ and behavior of ewes soon-to-go-into-labor. The ewe is then moved into individual jugs or small pens in the barn to lamb. BTW, I’ve also experienced lambing in the back forty… surprise!!
Yesterday morning [at 4 a.m.], I was greeted by our first 2014 Spring lamb, a single white ewe lamb [Dove X Ceylon] weighing in at 7-pounds. When I invaded her privacy, mama was doing a fine job drying her off! I suspect she lambed about an hour earlier since the afterbirth had already passed. I dipped the lamb’s umbilical in iodine and stripped the mama’s waxy plug from her teats, expressed a few squirts of colostrum-rich milk and pointed the newborn lamb in the right ‘direction’. A slight distraction from my routine morning chores. I TOTALLY love an unassisted natural birth! WOOT!
Ramble N White Dove (Dam)
Romyldale Ceylon (Sire)
Dove and her ewe lamb – three days old.