Friday, March 5, 2010

Night checks in the wind

The bad habit I have of waking up each night around 2 or 3 pm and often not being able to go back to sleep never seemed much of an asset before we had sheep to tend. I hate not getting enough sleep.

But in lambing season it is a definite plus.

The weather here has remained warm by midwinter Maine standards, around 30-35 F during the days, but we've been getting a lot of snow and sleet showers and frequent strong winds. Tonight was no exception. I rolled out of bed a little after three and pulled on my clothes and toddled out with the Mag-lite to see what was up, if anything, with the ewes.

Maggie seems to be the one to watch. She's been separating herself from the herd a lot, and is pretty big, at least by her normal standards. She is not usually monstrously huge when pregnant like Molly, who each year gets bigger and bigger until she's a full two feet or more wide, and then stays that big for weeks until she pops out twins.

Tonight they were all bedded down together for once, so I didn't need to go out back to hunt up Maggie. She was right there. No change. These days they don't even get up when I come by with the flashlight.

I came back inside PDQ after that, since the wind was whipping around the dooryard.

Lambs and spring. That's something to look forward to.

Here's one of our lamb videos from last year, as a taster.


  1. :) i love watching lamb races and games...

    am facinated by teh genetics too.. still cant work out how we got a patchy lamb :)

  2. Aimee would probably say that it's something to do with gene expression, either that your lamb is heterozygous for the two differing alleles and expressed them differently at different places, or that there's more than two alleles involved in your particular breed.

    Whereas ours, as you can see, are discrete alleles.

    But I'll ask her. Beware, though. She may want to use your patchy lamb photos in class.

  3. great - and er.. perhaps she can re explain that to me in simple terms :D

  4. I asked her. She should get back to you soon. Sorry to use bio-jargon.

    By the way, she said I was completely wrong in my notions above. But it sounded so good, right? I'll stick to wind turbines and solar panels, I guess.


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