Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Late night winter lambing

Pulling on my carhartts, muck boots, knit hat and gloves I prepare myself for the blast of cold air.  The boys (our farm dogs) greet me at the door hopping in the air excited that I've come out to play.  I trudge down the long driveway in the dark with only the moonlight to guide me.  The  snow crunching underneath my boots and the huffing of the boys are the only sounds in the dark of night until I get around the corner of the pasture where the girls (my ewes, girl sheep) start bleating hoping that they will get a midnight snack of grain. 
The boys won't leave me alone... grabbing my gloved hand just as if they are guiding me down to the barn and throwing themselves down in front of me trying to get a pat on the head.
Finally, I reach the barn door.  I listen carefully as I get closer for any sounds of the small bleating of a new born lamb. 
I don't hear anything so I click on the light and scan the pen for any signs of a mama ewe giving birth or a baby lamb laying in straw. 
A ewe is standing in the corner and turns to look at me and gives me a low blat in her throat.  Right there nestled in the yellow straw is a damp, pitch black lamb.  "Awe what a good mama"  I talk softly to her as I pull open the gate walking into the pen. 
She turned back to tend to her baby licking the clear sack off the baby, talking to it the whole time.  As I take a step closer I realize that she doesn't just have one but there are two.  The other is standing a bit wobbly as it searches for the ewe's teat and the mama is talking low, nudging it with her nose. 
"Yes, your a good 'ol mama"  I talked to her as I scooped them up to get them settled into a lambing pen with a heat lamp that will keep them cozy as the cold weather blisters outside the barn. 
"Come on, boys!"  I shoo them out of the barn pulling the door closed behind us. Then I trudge back to the house, tired but satisfied that I've got two new lambs to add to the herd.


  1. Awww twins! I love how you explained what ewes are (for those that may not know lol). Spring calving and lambing season is upon us...if only the weather knew it.

  2. When I was 4 or 5, my mom woke my sister and I up in the middle of the night and took us over to a neighbor's barn to watch a foal being born. It was amazing. It seemed like such a magical night.

  3. I think I need to come hang out at your farm Kris! I want to hold a lamb! I loved your descriptions, I felt like I was walking along side you. Thanks for sharing today!

  4. I love all the images this slice draws in my head. I'm with Robin, we need a field trip for us grown-ups to come see all this life you have around you. Absolutely beautiful way to end the day, in the moonlight with the sounds of a mother and her new babies.