Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NOT a day to play the lottery!

I didn't rest well last night. I awoke often from light sleep, thinking, "I wish I could go down and check on Annabelle." I'd listen for any sounds coming through the slightly opened window, then fall back into restless sleep.

Rick did not think she looked imminent last night during chores, but Annabelle was having some difficulty getting around yesterday afternoon in the pasture. Brian said she stumbled and fell trying to get back in the fold when he and Rick put the girls back in.

This morning Brian headed down to do chores before Rick – and burst back through the door in short order. "Annabelle has lambs – twins! A black one and a white one!" Of course I was grabbing for crutches and camera and struggling out of the recliner just as fast as I could. By the time I drove down there, Rick was tucking them into the lambing jug and Annabelle was passing the placenta. I looked down at the yelling lambies – and saw horn buds on the white one. My heart sank. A ram – AND horns? I bent to look at the black one's backside – and saw a telltale appendage. Hands-on examination later revealed that he, too, has horn buds.
I'll have to admit I shed a few bitter tears of disappointment. Not only did I not get the prayed-for ewe lamb to take mama's place in the breeding group, I didn't even get a possible future flock sire for my polled breeding program – not that Rick would let me keep another ram. If the genetics of their parents has been correctly identified – homozygous polled sire and half-polled dam – these lambs have to be half-polled and therefore not very desirable as flock sires, no matter how nice their structure and fleece. I'll have to do my best to find them fiber pet homes to keep them out of someone's freezer. :-(

Annabelle is no longer strong and spry, so this really will be her last lambing. She'll live out her days here producing crimpy white fleece that is always reserved ahead of time. She has given me six lambs in addition to the fantastic Bunker who came with her, and has been a good mother to all of them. I'm heartbroken that her genetics will not carry on in my little flock.



Despite my disappointment, SOMEone won today. Lee Anna was the clear winner of my lambing contest, coming closest on the date and the lambing stats. She wrote: "Hi – March 15 – twins, 1 ram, 1 ewe, 1 black, 1 cream." I've already emailed her to find out which prize she wants. Congrats, Lee Anna, and thanks to all of you for playing along.

That's it for today from the non-gamblers at . . .

28 comments:

DianeOart said...

Sad you didn't get at least one ewe lamb from her...

Mama Pea said...

What a disappointment for you. If just one of them had been a female! At least Annabelle seemed to have an easy delivery. And that was a good thing.

The Dancing Donkey said...

Sorry you didn't get what you hoped for. It's always seemed to me that the more we want a boy or girl, the more likely it is we end up with the opposite. I am glad all are healthy anyway.

majorasue said...

Congrats to Lee Anna, but I'm sorry that Annabelle didn't cooperate with your wishes. Still, healthy lambs are good, and I'm sure you can find good fiber homes for both of them. Heal fast before the next one lambs!

Briana said...

Aww too bad. :( I suppose I'll just have to get Mom to go on a road trip out there and get one of them--or maybe both--she's always saying she wants two fiber lambs! ;)

farmlady said...

I'm sorry that you didn't get the female lambs that you wanted so badly. But, I will come and get the cute little "guys" and take them back to California with me. NO? That beautiful future fiber ( and pain pills) is clouding your attitude, I fear.
The up side is that Annabelle is OK and did it all without your help. They sure are cute. Tell her she did good.

Tombstone Livestock said...

;Oh Michelle, so sorry you did not get at least one ewe lamb from Annabelle to keep. How old is she?

Michelle said...

Well, I've gotten two in past years but sold both. Tried to buy back one of them but her owner doesn't want to part with her. Maybe someday she'll change her mind….

Michelle said...

Yes, I'm glad she didn't have any trouble. She's always been a good mama.

Michelle said...

Is THAT why I've had a preponderance of ram lambs over the years?!?

Michelle said...

Finding good homes for all the extra boys has always been a challenge, Sue. If you hear of anyone you could recommend interested in fiber pets, send them my way!

Michelle said...

Yes! Road trip! Or I could send them out on an airplane; I have flown a lamb to Alaska in the past!

Michelle said...

Farmlady, with these two little guys I will have FIVE available wethers, so come get some producers of wonderful fiber!

Michelle said...

Annabelle is 11 now.

Retired Knitter said...

I live in a townhouse and I am not a farmer or rancher or anything similar but those two lambs are so darn cute and I love fiber arts and how I wish I could adopt one of those little guys. Of course I would make them pets, they would have names, they would have to live in my house, they ....

See why I can't have them? Lol

I really enjoyed the post. Sorry you didn't get a female.

Tammy said...

And yet they are cute as buttons, healthy and had a perfect birthing--what we all pray for. Enjoy them and I'm sure a perfect fiber home will come along. Perhaps someday you can get an ewe lamb from one of Annabelle's daughters? (So sorry to hear about you being laid up right now...what a bummer at this time of year!)
Tammy

Karen Valley said...

We would possibly be interested in the white boy even with hornbuds if he doesn't grow immense horns as a future flock sire...Is he sired by Nightcap? What is Annabelle's registration number?

Susan said...

I'm glad her lambing went smoothly, but I feel your disappointment. It's especially hard when it's one of your favorite old gals. I hope you can someday get one of her daughters back. And I hope the boys are now out of the way and the rest are girlies.

Nancy Kay said...

Ahhh....those little guys are so darned cute!!! And I'm glad Annabelle did so well. I trust the boys will find good homes.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Congratulations to the winner!
Michelle, sorry things didn't come through as you hoped but mighty glad you will look for a good home!
Blessings,
P.S. Keep the leg elevate!

Michelle said...

What? You think mine aren't pets and don't have names? Okay, they aren't all pets but they DO all have names and one might have to live in the house for just a little while….

Michelle said...

Everything is not going well right now; more later.

Michelle said...

Emailed you, Karen

Michelle said...

I hope so on both counts, Susan….

Michelle said...

I'll do my best, Nancy Kay!

Michelle said...

Ah, there's the rub. With all that has happened in the last two days, the leg is not only not elevated, but has had bear weight as well….

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I am sorry you didn't get what you wanted but they are adorable nonetheless.

Kelly said...

Cuteness is always welcome, but I know that sinking feeling in the gut when you are wanting for a particular color or sex out of a special ewe and it doesn't happen. Get better Michelle!!!