In Iowa, at Bob and Marianne Craft-Norton’s FARM, they have a line of Jacobs descending from their great old foundation ewe, Puddleduck Ruby. They call this line the “Rubys”. My own great old foundation ewe, Craft’s Ruby’s Belle, was a daughter of Ruby. I call her offspring my “Baby Belles”. Ruby Belle passed away in 2010 at age 15, leaving us with two Baby Belles.
Patchwork Martha born in 2001
and Patchwork Twinky, RubyBelle’s last lamb, born in 2008 when RubyBelle was 13.
Martha and Twinky lambed on Thursday and Friday. The wind was blowing 20 to 30 on Thursday and I had to go get my head eyes examined. I knew Martha was going to lamb that day, so I locked her in a jug in case she lambed while I was gone. I believe she spent the time with her legs crossed waiting for me to get home because she went through the gate the minute I opened it, went out (into the cold wind) and lambed. Happily her lamb was cleaned, dried and fed in quick order. She was so enthusiastic, she even chewed his navel cord off!
Martha’s boy, Patchwork Paladin (sired by Dune) just might stay here!
Twinky lambed on Friday – her first lamb. I had her in the barn in the morning, but let her out when the sun came out as she was very restless in the barn. Just like Martha – she was outside and lambing in quick order. Although she was a very attentive mother and baby cleaner, she wasn’t too excited about letting her pretty ewe lamb by Boyd nurse.
Unlike Martha, she left the navel cord for me to trim!
I decided to intervene and jug her (put her in a small pen), hold her to be sure the lamb got some colostrum, and feed the lamb some goat colostrum I keep in the freezer. She was still circling away from the lamb Friday night, but was busily nursing her lamb Saturday morning. Did I need to intervene? Maybe not. Probably not. But, I slept better knowing the lamb had gotten her colostrum.
Patchwork Brigitte with a full tummy of her mother’s milk.
What I find so interesting about these two births is that RubyBelle absolutely refused in all the time I had her (almost 15 years) to lamb if she were locked up. She just wouldn’t. For years, at our first farm, she would lamb under her favorite tree. If she were in another paddock when her delivery time came, she would stand at the fence and look across at her tree until I let her out. Then, like her Baby Belles, she would promptly go lamb. I was worried when we moved here that she might never! lamb as we couldn’t bring her tree. She never did pick a special spot here, but she always lambed in a place of her choosing. She would sometimes decide to lamb in the barn – but only if she were not confined. I love seeing her special quirks in her daughters!