Lambing Season

You might think that there are four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn (Fall), and Winter.

Sometimes farmers and ranchers add another season that has nothing to do with weather. Sometimes we have ‘lambing season’ or ‘calving season’ or ‘kidding season.’ Lambing season is when lambs are born, which usually begins in January. Kidding season is when the goat kids are born. Big ranchers and people who take their goats to shows usually plan to have their kids starting in January, too. Calving season can be spring or fall depending on what works better for the rancher.

My friend has a lot of sheep. She loves sheep! She loves making wool into yarn and knitting. She raises Navajo Churro sheep. They come in many colors, and that’s one of the reasons she loves them.

The brown ewe (mama sheep) had a white lamb.

Do you see all the funny spots on the ewes’ backs?
It almost looks like they have been partially sheared.
They haven’t been sheared at all!
Those are the ewes that don’t mind the lambs walking all over their backs.
My friend keeps her lambs and ewes inside for a few days until the lambs are strong enough to go outside in the cold. They are born with wool coats, but it takes them a few days to get used to being outside because their coats are not as wooly and thick as their mom’s coats are.
My friend’s cow also had a calf last week.
This little heifer was born January 23rd.
She was doing fine for a few hours, then my friend went out to check on her and she was dead. That’s so sad! Shorty, the name of the mother cow, isn’t very easy to milk so my friend was beginning to think it was going to be a lot of work to have to milk a cow that’s friendly, but not trained to stand and be milked.

Sometimes calves are very energetic and like to run and jump before their body is ready for it. This little calf was running and playing soon after she was born. She probably ran into the wall and broke her neck. 

Shorty is a good mama, so my friend and her son decided to try something…. 
They decided to get another calf that was the same age as the one that died.
Sometimes cows are very good mamas for their own calves, but they won’t take care of any other calves.
Shorty surprised them and adopted the new little calf! My friend doesn’t have to milk Shorty every day because the little calf is getting all the milk he can drink!
I love it when things work out so nicely! 
*     *     *     *     *
We were out of town for 5 days last week. We have the most wonderful family take care of our animals while we’re gone. They do all the chores and they do them just like I do them when I’m home.
Their daughter tried to feed Sadie a bottle. The dad tried to feed Sadie a bottle. Everyone tried to feed Sadie her bottle in the morning!
But she wouldn’t take a bottle from anyone! The little girl was so sad that Sadie wouldn’t take the bottle because she loves taking care of baby animals.
I thought that Sadie was probably done having a morning bottle. Sometimes calves are done by the time they are 2 months old.
When I got home Sadie was running all around her stall excited to see me!
She was ready to have a bottle of milk from someone that she knew.
Sadie is back to drinking about 3/4 gallon of milk every morning. Silly calf! She was probably hungry but she isn’t used to strangers yet.
I’ll need to work on that. I’ll have friends and neighbors come in the morning so they can feed Sadie, too. I want her to get used to being around lots of people, not just me. That will help her be a better milk cow.

Look how big Sadie is getting!
She gets to run and play and drink as much milk as she wants.
She’s a happy, healthy calf.
She loves to run around and play while I’m doing chores.
I think she missed me.
The goats missed me, too. River came right up to me and wanted pets and scratches, so did Lilly. It was fun to be gone for the weekend, and it’s fun to be home again.
I love watching her run and play! 
Mishka loves the snow, too!
Make it a great week! I really think you can!

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