On Tuesday 25th September we had our last lambs. The last of the floppy-eared three had twins: one black and one white. This followed the second of the floppy-eared three having two white twins on the 19th. All are healthy with no assistance required from us. (Our colostrum went back in the freezer for next year.) But these last births also led to an astounding revelation: in all their various configurations, singletons, twins, triplets, all variously hued, we ended up with e
We had come to the conclusion that lambs would either be born all black or all white, and in an alternate sequence, as it turns out. (The last lot after black triplets Pinch, Punch and Munf were Bunny and Hop, both white, seen here on their first day, making the overall sequence - black triplets-white singleton-black triplets-white twins.) So next, we were due for black twins (+/- 1). But, it turns out things are not so black and white after all. Well actually, they are black
A picture of Bliss. Mum snoozing in the afternoon sun with Pinch and Punch (or maybe Punch and Munf, or Munf and Pinch ...?) The birth of the first two sets of lambs had happened when we were out, and we were starting to think that the sheep had some kind of secret agreement only to have lambs when we weren't at home. But on the first day of spring, we were in for a pleasant surprise. It was a beautiful day and the family, including aunty and grandad were congregated on the d
Next, it was the turn of one of the 'Pohangina Three' (two of whom lost lambs to pneumonia last year [see: Sheep Diaries - the backstory). On 29 August, four days after Fatty gave birth to her triplets, a little white lamb emerged. Which gives rise to the question, of course, why? Our ram is a black Wiltshire from Tokomaru (progeny of the black Wiltshires bred at Blackshire Farm in Bunnythorpe). His name, for the record, is 'Blacky'. I was half-expecting that we would get bla
Last time I wrote [Sheep diaries - Our first lambs], the fate of Fatty and her triplets hung in the balance. We had intervened to save one lamb and successfully returned it to her. This felt like a triumph, given what we had heard about mothers rejecting lambs that had been handled by people. Her familiarity with us may have been a factor in her acceptance of the lamb, but it is hard to know. Sadly, this success was tempered by the discovery of the lifeless body of the last -
It is a momentous day. Our son, Carter, has reached double figures! Carter was born 10 years ago at Wellington Hospital. At 4.3kg, he dwarfed the little babies in neonates where he had a short sojourn to deal with some fluid on the lungs. He remained in the 99th percentile for the remainder of his babyhood - obviously inheriting the tall gene that skipped his dad! HAPPY BIRTHDAY young fella!
It was Saturday, and we had just come home from an afternoon of geocache-hiding in Rangitikei as part of our Wildbore series. Dusk was setting in, but when I looked out on the front paddock to see how the flock was, I could see that one ewe was by herself under the cover of some trees, and her attention was directed to something on the ground. "I think we have lambs!" I cried, and all members of the family were directed to don their gumboots without delay for an expedition ou
It is spring! And that means lambing season - an exciting time of us, as near-novices to sheep husbandry. To record our happenings, learnings and disappointments (hopefully not too many), I am starting a Sheep diaries series. But first, let me fill in a bit of background. After moving to our Pohangina block in April last year [see Life changes], and taking a few months to set ourselves up, we decided that sheep were the way to go for us. We are on a river terrace, and our soi