Last night when I walked out to the new sheep pasture to refill their mineral feeder, it looked like a small cat was standing underneath one of the white ewes. That's odd, I thought. I can't imagine that the ewe would let the cat stand under her like that. Uh, maybe it's not a cat. I watched for a few seconds before reality dawned -- as I watched it wobble, I realized it's a lamb. I screamed at the top of my lungs for Margaret to come, because all of the white sheep are hers.
After she arrived, she caught the little lamb and figured out it was a ewe, and she told me the mama was Ophelia, daughter of Fee, who was killed by coyotes this summer.
Then reality really struck. Those sheep are not fat! They're pregnant! I had been thinking that Minerva and White Feather and Pocahontas were getting really fat, but that's not the case at all. I caught White Feather and checked her for an udder -- yep, it's there! It's only a small handful, but it's there, so probably in another two to four weeks, she'll be lambing. I started looking at the other ewes directly from the front or back, and yes, there are several others who seem unusually wide.
So, how exactly did this happen? We had our two adult rams locked up in their own separate pen until shearing in June. But, by April, we assumed (wrongly) that the sheep wouldn't be cycling any longer, so we let the two young yearling rams into the pasture with the ewes and wethers. That means that Charlie and Rambrant are the sires of these lambs. I am really excited except that it means some inbreeding took place. White Feather is Rambrandt's mother and Charlie's grandmother. I hope that everyone is born with all the right parts in the right places, but I am ecstatic about the new life on the farm this fall. What an unexpected gift!