Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Storms and Lambing Time

Ginger with her lambs, safe and sound
Why is it that lambing season always seems to coincide with the worst winter weather? It's January in North Carolina and yesterday we were hit with the strongest winds of the season and torrential freezing rains, therefore, Ginger goes immediately into labor and has twins, a ewe and a ram lamb, during the worst of it.

Does she do it in the warmth and comfort of the sheltered barn? No, of course she doesn't. Ginger decides that there is no better place to give birth than out in the pasture, in the open, in the freezing rains and the very strong winds, right by the electric fence. Welcome to the world little lambs!

So, what does any good shepherdess do? Why I don my trench coat, my wide brim hat and pull on my barn boots and hoof it out to the pasture to round up the crazy ewe and her little lambs and lead them to safety.

At least that was the plan anyways.  Ginger, it seems, was perfectly comfortable out in the storm and wanted nothing to do with my proffered gift of grain. Her little lambs, however, were soaked through and freezing and way too close to the electric fence, so I tried pushing Ginger towards the shelter of the barn as the rains came down sideways, as hard and cold as I've ever felt it, all to no avail. Ginger wasn't budging.

Well, by then I was soaked through, the rain was running off the brim of my hat down my back and my boots were filling with water...stupid waterproof boots. I now have a 5 gallon bucket filled with rain and some grain , a momma sheep who happens to be more stubborn than she is smart, and two freezing newborn lambs. I'm not known to be especially patient with stupid animals and decided to end this impasse, scooping up the nearest lamb in one hand, I held out the bucket in the other and waved it at Ginger until the bleating of her baby stirred her into movement. Slowly but surely, I guided her along watching to be sure her other lamb followed, all whilst keeping her from bolting back out into the pasture.  Finally, I was able to lure her into her lambing stall and rewarded her efforts with some grain and hay, thus ending the fiasco.

Little ram lamb nursing. He's so cute all white with dark spots around his eyes and one ear tipped with brown.
We have named him Spot.

Ginger seemed nonplussed after shaking the water out of her thick winter wool (all over me I might add) and her babies, although just born, seemed very grateful to have a warm dry spot to nurse and sleep.  I was cold and soaking wet, covered in hay and mud, but I was happy to have my sheep warm and safe.

Sweet baby ewe lamb, sleeping off the storm. The girls have named her Ramona.

All's well that ends well I suppose.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Mom! You will fall in love with how sweet they are! It's so cute to watch them jump and romp in the pasture. :)

  2. You are AMAZING! What a great story. Thank you for sharing. I can literally see the whole thing happen in my mind. What beautiful babies she had!

    1. Thanks so much Gia! They are so adorable...little lamb love. :)


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