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Farm Journal 2001

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The goal for our web site  is to promote Blackbelly Barbados sheep and educate our visitors on raising sheep.  We are going to start sharing our experiences, whether good or bad.

Lambing season is one of the most exciting and fun times of the year.  We celebrate the birth of each new live lamb.  But not every birth goes well and just as we celebrate  the birth of live new lambs, there are a few times when the ewe and the  lamb have problems and may not even survive, and we mourn the loss.

Please feel free to let us know how you feel about this format.
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 March 21,  early Wednesday morning, Irene gave birth to small twin ram lambs.  At 2 pounds and 2 1/2 pounds, they were the smallest lambs we had ever seen, but were healthy, and are thriving.
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March 25, was a busy day.  At about 7:00 a.m. Janet discovered Brooke having trouble giving birth to large twin ewe lambs.  Both lambs were trying to come out at the same time.  It looked like Brooke had been trying to give birth much of the night.  We had to push one lamb back in to allow us to pull the first one out and then pull the second one as well.  Both lambs probably died in the birth cannel.  If we would have discovered Brooke having problems earlier in labor we may have been able to assist her and delivered live lambs.

Because of the long labor and pressure to the obturator nerve (the pelvic nerve), Brooke is experiencing some paralysis and is unable to stand.  Our veterinarian says he has seen much worse cases and thinks that she should have a complete recovery.  We hope for that recovery.  Brooke is about a year old and this was her first lambing.
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At around 9:00 a.m., only 2 hours after we discovered Brooke having problems giving birth,  Brooke's twin sister, Bridget, gave birth to twin lambs - a ewe and a ram.  All are doing well.
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That afternoon we moved 3 winter lambs that are being weaned along with Sugar and her new born lamb to Ray's parents' place to graze their yard and for them to enjoy. 

March 27, Brooke can stand!

March 31, Glenna gave Janet a special birthday gift: twin rams.  Mother and lambs are doing great and Janet is a year older.  We forgot to take pictures.

April 3, Farica, one of our most friendly and gentle ewes gave birth to twins, a ewe lamb and a ram lamb.  Farica gave birth to the lambs while laying down.  This was the first time we've seen this.  Most of the time they are standing up when the lamb comes completely out.  Farica and the lambs are fine.
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At this point in our spring lambing our Blackbelly Barbados ewes have had 6 ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs.  Not the ratio we had hoped for  --  We wanted all ewe lambs!

April 23, Crux, a ewe we purchased last winter from Lynn Magedson of Good Earth Organic Farm, had twin rams.  The sire of these ram lambs was polled (no horns), so these rams may be polled.  That brings us to 8 ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs.

May 25, we purchased a great looking flock of Blackbelly sheep and ended up with way too many.  So it is time to have a flock reduction sale.

June 26, Frances, a beautiful ewe, had a ewe lamb we named Fayanna.  Fayanna is also a very good looking Blackbelly ewe.
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July 7, we lost one of Irene's ram lambs.  He was 3 1/2 months old.  We think it was caused by internal parasites.  As always it was a heart breaking loss.

Friday, July 13, Betsy had a dark brown ewe lamb on the hottest day of the year at the hottest part of the day (over 100 degrees).
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The first part of August we started a flock reduction sale.  Within days all the ewes and 3 or 4 rams were sold.  We still have 6 spring ram lambs and one winter ram.  We now have 13 outstanding ewes and a great polled ram we plan to keep for our flock.

We have received less than 2 inches of rain since April.  The dry hot summer and the 3rd year of having too many grasshoppers has made grazing pasture slim.  We started feeding hay in July.  In mid August we received over 4 inches slow rain over a few days.  Praise the Lord!  August is usually one of the hottest and driest summer months.  The pastures are now as green as they were in May.  Now if we could just get rid of the excess grasshoppers.

August 27, we cultivated our main pasture to prepare it for fall planting of a pasture mix of wheat, oats, and rye grass for winter pasture.  Now it needs rain to smooth and soften the soil.

August 30 & 31, we received 5 3/4 inches of rain.

September 1, Dixie gave birth to twins, a ram lamb and a ewe lamb. We named them DeDe and Dewitt.

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September 9, Camill had a single ewe lamb.  We named her Carly.
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September 24, Holly delivered a beautiful ewe lamb we named Hope.

Also on September 24, Gracie gave birth to Garrett and Gloria, a ram lamb and a ewe lamb.

Around the end of September we sowed a wheat, oat, and rye pasture mix.  It should be ready for the flock to graze around the first of December. 

November 13,  Helen, one of our best ewes, had twins, a ram lamb and a ewe lamb.  Between now and mid December several of our ewes will lamb.  An exciting time to have a watchful eye on the flock.
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November 16, 11:35 p.m., Brooke gave birth to a beautiful large ram lamb.  Mother and baby are doing good.
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November 20, Bertha gave birth to twins, a ewe lamb and a ram lamb.  The second lamb had to be helped out.  All are doing well now.


November 28, DeDe, the lamb Dixie had September 1, was tragically killed in a senseless accident when a wood pallet fell on her.  Days like this can make us wonder if we should get out of the business.

December 1, we let sheep out on winter pasture for the first time.
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December 12, Bridget had a single ewe lamb.  The last lamb of 2001.

We have seen 27 lambs born on our little farm in 2001.

2001 was a good year.  We end the year with 12 very good adult ewes, our polled ram, and several lambs.  Many of our ewes that normally give us twins had only a single lamb in the fall. We are not sure what to attribute that to.  We wonder if this year's extreme heat and drought are factors contributing to the singleton births.

We now look forward to an even better year in 2002. In the spring of 2002 we will see our first lambs from the polled ram.