Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thinking of a word that rhymes with "ram"

And it's not "lamb." I'm kidding. Kind of.

Katie lambed this morning, I think shortly after 7:00 although I'm not sure because I took my watch off and donned rubber gloves to help. When her water broke an hour after I found her in labor, it was heavily stained with meconium, so I ran to the house to clip off my fingernails and grab more supplies (the big, two-legged one was most appreciated), then helped her two - wait for it - RAM LAMBS into the world, the first one with the lamb puller. He is a strapping 7 lb. moorit with some slight head spotting. I thought at first he was musket, but now I'm not so sure. His tongue is as dark his moorit gulmoget brother's, who weighed in at 6 3/4 lbs. and also has slight head spotting.

So without further ado, I introduce to you Byzantine:
and Bardas (one of the Byzantine emperors):SheltrgPines Constantine x McTavish Katie.

The initial disappointment was not only in what is under their tails, but also what is up on their noggins - BIG horn buds! Of course, this doesn't tell me whether either of their parents carries a polled gene or not; we knew they both carry at least one horned-ram gene, and that's what got passed on. But both lambs are vigorous and structurally fantastic; no waiting to see if they "straighten out." And if Byzantine's fleece and horns look good, he may get a job back at Stonehaven Farm with his handsome sire!

So, it is an all-ram year here. Things could be worse. Out of a very small breeding group, I have two good-looking boys who could be full-polls; I feel very fortunate in that. I finally got a good shot of Blake's fleece this morning; it's looking lovely:

That's it for lambing 2010 at . . .

13 comments:

Shula said...

Congratulations! It seemed like a ram year for you as well as me. I am sorry that you didn't get to find out about the polled aspect but what lovely looking boys! Out of interest how desirable are scurs? Does that mean the lamb is half polled and could pass on poll on horns to offspring depending who it is bred too? Also how is Blake doing with the milk replacer?

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Blake's fleece is very lovely!

Sorry about the "ram year". But I think that your polled boy is just about worth it. Congratulations there. And congrats on those two new healthy lambs. A moorit gul is a pretty pattern.

Michelle said...

Shula, when there are so few known fully-polled rams in the Shetland breed, half-polled rams are VERY useful when working towards a polled flock! Yes, they can pass on either a P (polled) or p/p' gene (polled ram/polled both sexes); combine that with a ewe carrying the same genetics, and SOMETIMES (25% of the time, statistically) you're going to get lucky and get a full-poll. Shorter scurs are much easier to manage than longer ones, but as far as we know, they are genetically equal.

As for Blake (thanks, Sabrina!), I never did get him on milk replacer. I tried some powder mixed in with his grain, but he wouldn't eat the grain "tainted" like that. So he gets a small handful of grain twice a day along with free-choice grass/hay, and seems to be doing well.

Mac said...

Congrats on the adorable lambs!!

MiniKat said...

At least everyone is healthy and handsome! Really wishing I could have lambies to spin from.

Tammy said...

Wow... When most people say 'ram year' they usually mean they got mostly rams...not ALL rams. Although I seem to recall that Kathy got several years of all rams and maybe Tina too? Anyway. Congrats on the healthy live lambs, glad you were able to help her deliver them safely. The gullie is a heartbreaker for sure, although they are both sharp looking little fellows. Now at least you can quit worrying about lambing and move on, I guess.
Tammy

MollyBeees said...

YAY!!! Congrats!!!! Twins!!!And both just as cute as a button. Squeeee!

~ Janis said...

Congrats on the fertility of your ewes!!

It IS a male year

I had mostly bull calves this spring and my neighbor is changing his farm name to 'Bull Run" Farm, because he had 22 straight bull calves before he got 4 heifer calves.

Mercury was in retrograde for several months, I was told, and THAT could of caused all this testosterone... oh sure....

Take a look at our boys:
www.tailgaitfarm.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

Thanks for the comment, Janis! I tried to visit your blog but Blogger told me it doesn't exist.

Marie said...

Congrats on two healthy lambs. And sorry you had to join the all ram club this year! It seems to be a full club this year!

~ Janis said...

I'll never get use to typing it all out...

Here, this is the correct URL:

www.tailgait.blogspot.com

Let me know that you were able to
git there!

Enjoy.

Becky Utecht said...

Congrats on the nice looking healthy twins Michelle. Sorry no ewe lambs for you this year though - next year be prepared for a bumper crop of them. I'm glad to hear Blake is doing so well.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful lambs!! Congratulations! Sorry no ewes though. Great names too.
Jackie