wooly wednesday: lambs

sara_blklamb

Serendipity’s twin ram lamb.

Reece triplet ewe

Reece’s triplet ‘tall’ ewe lamb.

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Loving lots of black and moorit Shetland lambs!

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wooly wednesday: sheep on the go!

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.

workroom project

source

My husband made a DIY frame from scrap lumber to which we stapled the canvas.

sheep on the go

I applied several coats of Gesso/primer. I then re-created (sketched) multiples of my ‘logo’ sheep onto the canvas.

sheep a go go

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.

flock of sheep

I even added a black sheep. Every family/flock has one…??!

faux lambskin pelt

Today, I had my hands in the washtub again… playing with wool. I made a few more wet felted wooly ‘pelts’, like this one.

faux lamb

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].

like mother like daughter

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!!???

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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.

mother daughter

I guess mama didn’t want to be upstaged by her daughter!

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And so the saying goes, all’s well that ends well!! That concludes our lambing season!!! YAY!!

 

First 2014 Spring lamb has arrived!

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!

Dove

 

Ramble N White Dove (Dam)

 

ceylon july2013

Romyldale Ceylon (Sire)

dove 2014 lamb

Dove and her ewe lamb – three days old.

Happy Easter!