If you want to be happy, happy, happy, find yourself a field full of ewes and their new lambs.
People, that is heaven on earth.
Well, it's heaven as long as you aren't the farmer who has to go out at all hours in all weather to birth/feed and/or take care of the itty bitty new ones.
|That's my sister-in-law.|
Since the kids and I were merely visitors to my brother and sister-in-law's, and it was a sunshiny 55 degrees, we found it to be heaven.
|My mom brought this lamb outside of the fence, because Cuckoo wouldn't put one toe on the inside.|
|Just this once.|
One aspect about a field full of sheep I didn't expect is the noise. Separated mamas and babies will call to each other until they are reunited. With this many sheep, combined with this many people holding lambs, there is a lot of separation.
(Thank you, Giant, for supplying the videos. Sorry, readers, for the frenetic movements of the videographer. (You may just want to close your eyes and listen.) Besides the sheep, you will also hear my mom laughing in the background and see my brother walking through his flock.)
Each sheep has it's own call, and they can be quite hilarious. The ewe with the baritone smoker's voice was probably my favorite mama. There was one lamb that had us all in stitches. It would do a normal little baa, but then add a scared little girl screech on the end, which took every muscle in her body to produce. It was so funny, we wanted to take her away from her mom just so we could hear it again. (We only did it once. (OK, maybe more like thrice.))
(If you pay no attention to the humans talking, you will be able to hear the lamb. It's a scream that you would never guess could come from a teeny tiny lamb. This isn't the best example of her cries, but it will give you an idea.)
I also didn't know that mamas will only take care of their own babies. If another lamb comes anywhere near her, she will head-butt it out of the way.
(I just got word this afternoon that a new lamb died this morning. It had gotten into a pen with a different mama, and the ewe rammed it and killed it. Apparently, some mamas are very protective.)
My brother and sister-in-law have 20 ewes, and each one will give birth to either twins or triplets. The babies that are smaller, abandoned, or sickly are bottle fed lamb formula. We got to help.
Of course, once you feed a little lamb, you will probably have a little lamb friend for life.
While Turken wasn't afraid to hold the lambs...
he was much happier simply petting the sheep dog, Sarah.
Here's something else we learned. Always, always greet the sheep dog by name when entering a sheep pen. If you follow that direction, the dog will be so completely sweet. If you don't, you will be torn limb from limb.
Thankfully, my kids followed that rule without having to learn it the hard way.
Sarah is not only the protector of the flock, she has also become the adoptive mother of little lost lambs.
The abandoned lamb I told you about earlier thinks Sarah is her mother. She will follow that dog all day long, and then cuddle up to sleep with her at night. Cutest. Thing. Ever. Ever. Ever.
Some of the ewes have yet to give birth. At least 12 more babies will be in the field when I return to Kentucky at the end of April. My lands, I cannot wait.
We were in Kentucky to celebrate the five March birthdays (including Buttercup's and Turken's) in my extended family and my niece's baptism into the Church of Latter Day Saints.
I took 463 photos.
459 of them were of sheep.
Ob. Sessed. (This completely blog thing of separating words and using periods sometimes annoys me. Other times, it is just a handy way to emphasize a point. Point. Made?)
Have a lovely day!