Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's a hard life

Yesterday was the flocks' first day out in the big pasture. The lambs went with them. So did the rams.

All that excitement.

By the end of the afternoon they were all tuckered out.

Clementine zzzzzzzzz
baby Harper and Dolly
babies Hamlet and Hal with Emily
baby Hercules and Ladybug

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hamlet and Hal ... or ... maybe Holmes

Emily the Icelandic gave us two more beautiful rams yesterday.

Well, she didn't so much give them, as we (by which I mean the vet) had to go in and take them.

But, whatever.

They're still gorgeous.

Daddy is Johnny Blue Lincoln Longwool. I wasn't sure how this Lincoln-Icelandic cross would turn out. At the time of breeding, I was still thinking Charlotte was the only bred ewe I had and a couple more Lincoln crosses, kind of like Brianna, would be fun. Had I realized I had so many oopsies, I probably would not have encouraged this breeding.

But I'm glad I did.

Just look at them.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

H for Hubble stands for trouble

Can I just say,  H is a challenging letter for baby names.

But we're managing.

The goat kids are every bit as adorable as people said they would be -- big, curious, endearing personalities all the way around.

Marthajones, escape artist extraordinaire, gave birth to Hubble, the buckling on the left here. Hubble shares both his namesake and his inquisitive nature with a big telescope. Hubble is all of four and a half weeks old and maybe 12 inches high, but can already jump over 3 foot walls, which he does on his regular explorations.

Ameliapond gave birth to and then rejected, Hippo and Harlow. Hippo, short for Hippocrates, is the buckling in the back and Harlow, named after the ethologist who studied orphaned monkeys, is the doeling on the right. It doesn't hurt that she's movie star beautiful. Hippo and Harlow have thrived as bottle babies. Surrogate mothers rock. Ameliapond couldn't care less.

Once we got on the H roll, I figured it was as good a way as any to track all of this year's babies, not just the Pygoras.

Next up were Hercules, Hobbes, and Hamish, all three little black rams. Hercules is the big one in the front. He's Ladybug's baby. Ladybug's the white Bluefaced Leicester in the middle, making him a Bluefaced Leicester cross. Can't wait to see how his fleece turns out. Hobbes is the guy sitting just behind Hercules, sort of snuggled up with Ladybug. His mom is Mary, the Black Welsh off to the left. And finally Hamish, is the smallest of the three and the son of Jill, whose chin he is tucked up under. These three were born within a day or so of each other and are all the mystery offspring of a big collective ram break last fall, the first week in October. No telling who the dads are, sadly. All three look like typical Black Welsh, well, except that Hercules is huge and polled, which Black Welsh rams are not.

A few days after the three rams were born, Harper arrived. Oh look, another black lamb. She's the daughter of Dolly. Also of unknown fatherage from the same ram escape.

Next came the two little bottle babies who were living in my bathroom until a week ago. They're the last of the unplanned Black Welsh babies. Unlike the previous four, these two were a complete surprise and I'm still not sure how they came about. They seemed too late to be from the big escape, but who knows. Their mother is Eve. She's the oldest of the original Black Welsh ewes -- 7 maybe? She had twins last year as well and it really knocked her down hard. I spent all summer and fall trying to get her back into condition and swore I'd never breed her again. I was very, very careful to keep her away from the rams. Um, right. 

Helenka is the one in the blue sweater. Hamza is the little boy on the right. Hamza probably would have been ok without the bottle, but Helenka and Eve both needed the babies to come inside. It was touch and go with Helenka for a good couple of weeks, but everybody's doing well now.

And for something different -- the next guy to arrive was Houston. He's a twofer, born a week ago. So called, because when I agreed to rescue his Mom last fall, (she's Dallas, yes, see that fiber) I was unaware that she was pregnant. Ugh.

Sigh. For the moment they're living very comfortably at the stables across the road. Lucky them.

And finally, at least for the moment, we have Hiccup, our very first Lincoln baby. Charlotte, for her own stubborn reasons I guess, decided to have her babies in the old barn Monday -- you know, the barn where the foxes live. We found her Monday night just as the sun was setting. There were two lambs.  One was already gone and I have to say, looked wrong. The surviving ram lamb, Hiccup, couldn't have been more than a few minutes old, with the amniotic sac still around his waist, covered in goop and a thick layer of dust and grit. He's still a bit shell shocked, I assume from the stressful birth, but Charlotte is a devoted mom and has plenty of milk. I saw him bounce around yesterday for the first time, so I'm hopeful. I've been waiting a long time for a Lincoln baby and will be disappointed if we end up losing both of these. 

And that's it for now.