April 20, 2010

What a difference a week makes! As I closed last week I suggested that maybe this week we’d have new lambs at the barn. Did we ever! On Tuesday Heather had a single black ram lamb. On Thursday Hannaku had 2 black lambs, a ram and a ewe. Friday Ginger had her 2, more black ram lambs. It’s a year for black sheep, and certainly a year for rams!

These lambs have given us something to talk about- as a teaching farm. Some wool-breed sheep (like our Romneys) occasionally have trouble with entropia. Entropia is the term used for eyelids that are folded in toward the eye. The wool on the eyelids aggravates the eye if it’s not corrected. The good news is our lambs’ eyelids are now as they should be, thanks to the help of the Farm and Forest kids who held the lambs while gently pulling the eyelids open and away from the eye for about 20 minutes (we’re lucky that’s all it took). The bad news is that some sheep are genetically predisposed to entropia and these lambs are all fathered by our new ram. We’ll see what happens in the next breeding season, but it’s possible our new ram, who’s a handsome sweet guy with great fiber, is passing that trait on to his offspring. Every farm is a teaching/learning farm if you stop to look around.

I haven’t been doing a good job of carrying my camera with me, but you can see one of our lambs, Mango, when he is just a few hours old.

Next week (thought it would be this week but things were delayed at the hatchery) we’ll have our new baby laying hens. Spring at the barn is a lovely place to be.

-Tracey

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