A discussion that was on-going all winter long was if our “mamas” would have difficulty delivering their babies and if both mama and baby would survive due to the lack of green pasture. We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase supplemental feed (which turned into daily feed, nothing supplemental about it), and we have access to water for the animals, Between our well, pump, and water holding tanks, plus our newly finished ponds that are spring fed in the front and the back of the property, we did not have to worry about getting water to the animals. Some of our neighbors had difficulty with both water and feed for their animals.
We heard horror stories about cows abandoning their babies due to no milk, of birthing difficulties and mamas and babies dying. One neighbor had sheep lambing and vultures attacked moms and babies because they were so weak they could not defend themselves. One farmer expected 125 lambs and only had 25 born. It has been a tough year for people with animals.
BUT… we were most fortunate that we had minimal issues with our mamas and babies. The sheep started lambing at the end of August. We have about 50 babies with just less than half males. Most are black with a few white markings here and there. Megan is breeding for color rather than white. We have managed to dock tails, castrate , and ear tag our new lambs. They are adorable to watch jump and play and run about in a group. Here are a few playing king of the hill.
Our lecharas were really huge and for almost a month we kept saying they would burst any day. When they finally began calving in September, it was not the ones we expected to calve first who calved first. We had one born, then a few days later another, then one in the morning and one in the evening, then a few days later another was born. The two largest cows who waddled because they were also the biggest around, we the last of the group to calve. We have eight babies frolicking in the field with 4 more to arrive in a few months according to the vet. We have six females and two males so far.
The Normandy calves are up and running about within moments of being born. Our mother lecharas are very attentive and keep close to their babies.
Here is Jon walking around touching all the babies to get them use to being handles.
While we have rabbits and chickens being born and being sent to freezer camp on schedule, I have no photos to share.
But we have been keeping our eye on our geese and ducks. They began nesting almost a month ago.
Just today, we had our first set of gosling hatch!
This mama took her little group on a walk about and another goose stepped up and is sitting on the rest of the eggs in the nest. We have seven geese and one duck sitting nests full of eggs. It will be interesting to see if the duck stays sitting after all the geese hatch because the duck eggs take longer to hatch. Another learning experience.