NEW ZEALAND BABY LAMBS – SPRING 2009
AUGUST 15 2009 – We are still having good weather and all of our baby lambs are growing nicely. We have separated our orphans into 2 ‘sets’. 1 are the bigger (normal-sized) ones, of which there are 5 lambs, including Tahi & Rua, and running around our backyard we have our tiny little ones, of which there are also 5, including Midget. In this group of tiny ones, we have a lamb (which we have named Fred), who has a high proportion of Poll Dorset in him. Our sheep are Romney, but we sometimes get a ‘genetic throwback’ to other breeds which we have used in years gone by. In these pictures, you can see just how short Fred’s wool is; (with the pinkness of the skin through the wool)….this is the reason we are keeping a cover on him until he fattens up a bit!
We have had another lot of triplets born…this sheep was a pet sheep, and thankfully she is an excellent mother! We have put her and her 3 babies very close to our house, so we can look out to see they are feeding OK.
It is well and truly Spring on our Auckland sheep farm now with the arrival of our lambs! Favourable weather conditions have been great, and meant we haven’t had any weather-related deaths…(unlike last year’s storm casualties). Our sheep have had lots of twins (and we have had some sets of triplets!!). Sometimes we have to remove one of those weaker lambs to hand-raise as it could die from not enough to eat.
Here you can see Stuart giving lambs a feed from a sheep; (this sheep is not their mother, but had a good supply of colostrum, which is essential that newborn lambs have in the first few hours of life). We can buy powdered colostrum substitute, but nothing beats the real thing!
Two days ago we found this tiny little lamb… it is so small!! Just compare the size of her head with the others…she is 2 days old, the others newborn! It is very rarely that lambs this small survive, but ‘Midget’, (as we have named her), seems to be a real fighter, and she now has the other lambs to keep her company.
It has just been Maori Language week in New Zealand, and to celebrate, we have given our first orphan lambs each a Maori name. ‘Tahi’ which means one, and ‘Rua’ which means two. We had to assist their mother during the birth (as the lambs were breech), and after the ordeal the mother did not want anything to do with the lambs…could you really blame her??
…and 2 days later
…and here is Tahi, Rua, (and Bert, who was a lost lamb).