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Lambing Season Success at Wild Rose Farm

We've wrapped up lambing season at Wild Rose Farm! It has been both an exciting and fulfilling time. We welcomed 13 purebred Valais Blacknose lambs, several Valais-Teeswater cross lambs (F-1 and F-2), numerous 95-98% Wensleydale lambs, and a few purebred Teeswater lambs with new genetics from Ireland. It was a great season with all the lambs healthy, only having to intervene with three or four out of approximately 50 pregnant ewes.

The toughest delivery involved a pair of Valais lambs. The first was positioned awkwardly, lounging like it was on a beanbag chair with its back feet up on the pelvic brim. The second lamb had one foot in a similar position. So now there’s three feet, and we have to figure out whose belongs to whom. It took a while to sort it out, but the Mom was tough and ended up delivering two healthy lambs. The other interventions were more straightforward, typically involving one leg back or the head not presenting properly.

One recurring challenge was dealing with about four different lambs that just couldn’t get the nursing thing down. These lambs, each from a set of twins or triplets, struggled starting to nurse. We had to help by holding the ewe or tying her up and guiding the lamb to the teat multiple times a day. This process is labor and time-intensive but essential. Thankfully, after 2-3 days, each lamb managed to nurse on their own. We don’t normally have this many lambs with nursing issues at once.

We ended up with one bottle baby this season, a purebred Valais ewe lamb that we named “Diamond Ducky”. She was a single lamb whose mother was so attentive that she would circle constantly, keeping her nose on Ducky so as not to even let her nurse.  Tying the mother up didn't work as she thrashed and kicked. Ducky stayed with her mom, and we began feeding her replacer milk after ensuring she got enough colostrum from her mother. We started feeding her five times a day, gradually reducing it to twice a day. Ducky now believes she’s a sheep but still loves her milk!

By the end of lambing season, we're exhausted. Why do ewes prefer night time lambing? And don't tell me it’s all about when we feed them—I just don’t buy it. Though after all is said and done, it doesn’t get old. Turning lambs out on pasture with their moms is a beautiful sight. Watching them grow, play, and run together like a school of fish always brings a smile to our faces.


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