There’s nothing that can brighten the gloomy final weeks of winter like the arrival of a baby lamb. Especially when it’s the first baby born on our farm (unless you count our son, who was born here 2 years ago!)
As new farmers, we started our farm by bringing in young animals in the Spring and finishing them in the Fall. This strategy lessened our already steep learning curve and gave us some much-needed down time in the Winter. Last season was Shelterbelt Farm’s 4th, and we finally felt like we were somewhat ready for breeding stock: i.e. animals with whom we will have a multi-year relationship. Owning breeding stock brings with it complications in disease and parasite management, winter feed and shelter, breeding and lambing… so much more to know!
Thankfully, we are fortunate to have a fantastic support network of farmer friends, veterinarians, Extension educators, and others who generously contribute their expertise, soothe our concerns, and support our aspirations of being 100% grass-fed and organic, difficult as that is with sheep.
And thankfully, ewe #563 is a great mama, so our very first experience with lambing was a total joy! Eight more mamas to go this year – here’s hoping the rest are as smooth!