We've been low on rain and low on pasture here on the farm, these simple facts have lead us to some creative solutions for ensuring our sheep are properly fed. One such solution is using them to clear new pasture by reclaiming fallow fields. I have been working on clearing one of these pastures this spring and look around a few days ago and realized it was pretty well all we had left. So with the help of some friends we wrangled the sheep into the stock trailer from their various locations and drove them down across the stream behind the barn and set them out to graze the scrub/shrub. It took them four days to eat it down and I was pretty happy with how it had gone but they needed to be moved back onto now rejuvenated pasture that has had a few weeks off. The task of moving sheep from one pasture to another (when the same 3 mobile fences used for the old pasture are the same fences you need for the new pasture) is really pretty tricky and tedious. I move the fence one post at a time and shrink their space down until they are contained within one fence move the other 2 to the new location open the gate and hope I have thought enough like a sheep that they make the transition smoothly despite being temporarily free, I need more fences.
So this morning while plugging away post by post I heard a higher pitch bleat than normal. I thought I wonder what that lamb is tangled up in that it is so desperately bleating. As I walked toward the sound expecting someone to be tangled in the fence I noticed a lamb that was really quite small. It took me a minute to realize that it was a new lamb. We had one ewe that we assumed hadn't been bred (she was marked to be due about a month ago) and when nothing came and no obvious signs of pregnancy developed we lost hope. July 13th is pretty late to have a lamb. Friday the 13th is decidedly unlucky. Unless of course you are this new baby ram lamb. Heres why.Not expecting any lambs I wasn't doing frequent checks watching for signs of labor, Hlif birthed this ram (her first lamb) all on her own and got him to nurse.