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Bayou Gardener Family

Winter 2020 Lambs


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This is one of those "just because" pictures.  We just started having lambs and I thought I was going to have to separate the dogs because the female was attacking the big male every time he started approaching lambs. I spent about the entire first day out with them to get her to back off and by the second day they were back to being best buddies.  They have a good routine going now and wherever lambs are one of them will lay down to keep an eye on things while the other will wander around checking things out.  The ewes in the picture look small compared to Mel but they are both around 140 pounds.

We cut our numbers down this season and only bred 16 ewes starting in July.  This was our first time breeding in the summer heat so we weren't sure what to expect.  We have another 10 yearlings that were old enough to breed but we prefer that they are at least a year old and fully mature before exposing them to a ram.  You don't get as many sales that way but you wind up with healthier adults.

 

 

Mel watching the lambs 5 Dec 2020.JPG

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5 hours ago, Fred said:

Looks really nice.  Will you have to feed them daily through the winter?  That's a huge dog at 140 pounds.

This breed is pretty thrifty and the only time they get supplemental feed is while they are nursing.  The lambs get free choice feed in a creep feeder but they are eating grass and hay at a few days old.

The ewes are 140 pounds and the dog is 165 pounds.  🙂

 

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Our animals keep us smiling.  🙂

These two were arriving just a little after sunrise this morning and the picture was taken from our living room window.  She is still working on cleaning them up but the white one is a ram lamb and the colored one is a ewe lamb.   I don't take as many pictures as I used to but some just beg to be captured.

 

044 twins 8 Dec 2020.JPG

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2 hours ago, MikeM said:

Our animals keep us smiling.  🙂

These two were arriving just a little after sunrise this morning and the picture was taken from our living room window.  She is still working on cleaning them up but the white one is a ram lamb and the colored one is a ewe lamb.   I don't take as many pictures as I used to but some just beg to be captured.

 

044 twins 8 Dec 2020.JPG

They are so cute....and a proud and caring mama,too!

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One of my favorites had twin lambs this afternoon.  She will follow me anywhere on our place if she thinks there is an Animal Cracker in my jacket pocket.  She has figured out that when I'm emptying the 5 gallon water jugs to fill their troughs that I can't stop her from sticking her snout in my pocket to see if there are any crackers there.  She was having her second lamb while I was out this afternoon and the picture is one of the lambs trying to get to the milk source.  🙂 

32 8 Dec ewe and ram looking for breakfast.JPG

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We have another single this morning and is the first time this ewe didn't have twins or trips.  We moved all of the newborn lambs and their dams into our nursery paddock and Maisy will memorize the scent of her new lambs.  Last is Mel doing what Mel does best (get petted) 🙂

 

54 and ewe lamb 9 Dec 2020.JPG

Maisy checking out new lamb2 9 Dec 2020.JPG

Maisy checking out new lambs 9 Dec 2020.JPG

Mel 9 Dec 2020.JPG

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Those are nice looking animals.  What is the breed of your sheep?  Down here I heard about what they call a Louisiana native sheep.  McNeese college has a flock of them and I've heard of another guy raising them.  They are supposed to be more resistant to parasites and more hardy to survive under the conditions here.  I've had little experience with sheep but have raised beef cattle most of my life.

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7 hours ago, Fred said:

Those are nice looking animals.  What is the breed of your sheep?  Down here I heard about what they call a Louisiana native sheep.  McNeese college has a flock of them and I've heard of another guy raising them.  They are supposed to be more resistant to parasites and more hardy to survive under the conditions here.  I've had little experience with sheep but have raised beef cattle most of my life.

They are Katahdin hair sheep (meat).  They were developed in the 1950's and carry all those traits you mention.  🙂  Most of the producers that we know (and there are a bunch) keep working on parasite resistance since that is something that hasn't been perfected in any sheep breed.  We cull heavy and only register probably less than 10 percent of our lambs.  The rest go to the auction for sale.  We have quite a few friends that raise cattle and sheep.  We have ran cattle with no issue.

Edited by MikeM
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Thanks for the info.  I just read an article about Katahdin sheep and they sound like an interesting breed to raise.  They sound similar to Barbados which I used to see raised around here.

Edited by Fred
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Our lambing season got a whole lot shorter this morning.  Four ewes started labor within minutes of each other and there was 3 single lambs and one set of twins.  Two were first timers so singles are often expected and one of the singles was almost 13 pounds so there wasn't much room left for a twin.  The twins dam is the oldest ewe in our herd at six years old and always lambs either twins or triplets.

 

 

10 Dec 2020_1.jpg

10 Dec 2020_2.jpg

10 Dec 2020_3.jpg

10 Dec 2020_5.jpg

10Dec 2020_4.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have had almost three weeks between births now which really stretches out the lambing cycle and we still have two more to go.  This happens more often than not when you only run one ram like we do.  The ewes go into heat every 16-17 days and only cycle for a day or day and a half so if you miss that window you can add another 17 days to lambing.

All of our ewes are sweet girls but the dam to the twin ram lambs is as sweet as they come.  Usually when they have their lambs, they will go off on their on for a couple of days and they will be on the skittish side because of their babies.  She had her lambs this morning about 8:00 right in the middle of the flock as they ate on the hay bale.  Even the really tame ones are protective of their lambs and will usually move away if you approach their lambs but as you can see, all it took was some Animal Crackers to get her to come to me so I could check out her lambs.  🙂

 

 

21s twin ram lambs 31 Dec 2020.jpg

21s twin ram lambs2 31 Dec 2020.jpg

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There is 23 lambs so far.  We cut our numbers way back last fall since it seemed we had no time for ourselves.  By May of last year we had 54 lambs by the time we were through lambing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We will be bringing the lambs in for shots and weights in the next couple of weeks.  This bunch are all between 5 and 7 weeks old and growing well.

The slope they are on is as steep as it looks.  🙂

 

 

 

Lambs4 10 Jan 2020.jpg

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54 minutes ago, Double B said:

They are gorgeous Mike! 

Thank You!  Several of them are slated for 4H so we are happy.

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2 hours ago, Rabbitproof said:

Boy, they have grown!

We shoot for a pound a day in weight gain through 90 days old and then it slows down some but all of the ram lambs will be gone in another month.

 

We are finally down to one ewe left to lamb.  One of the ewes had a lamb yesterday morning while I was out with them.  She didn't look like she was done so I stuck around while she cleaned off the lamb and in about another 15 minutes a second (smaller lamb) was born.  She seemed to be finished so I left her alone and came back to the house.

I went back out a little later and checked the lambs and they were both rams.  I walked around looking for the after birth (that draws those foul Black Vultures) and found a third dead lamb that wasn't completely mature.

 

 

1848 twin ram lambs 13 Jan 2020.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

We finally got lambs from our last hold out so this lambing season is over.  This one was a bottle lamb and this was her first lambs so we weren't sure what her maternal instincts would be since she doesn't seem to know that she is a sheep.   She prefers human contact and if we let her out of the gate, she will stay wherever we are.  She will come to us for attention even over food but she has done well with long legged ewe and ram lamb twins.

 

Princess ewe 141 ram 142.jpg

Princess2 ewe 141 ram 142.jpg

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