Spring has Sprung!

Ewe

“The shepherd drives the wolf away from the sheep for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

As some of you know, for a number of years my land has been rented to a local farmer and I have the joy of ‘animal watching’,  a caretaker role that suits me well, but with none of the responsibility.

During the long and wet winter months, my farmyard posts have been noticeably absent due to the livestock remaining housebound in the barns. Today I have remedied that situation and the farmyard is revisited.

Regular readers may remember the autumn happenings here on the farm, the tupping season, a notable occasion where the tups (rams) are brought on to the farm to mate with the ewes, three tups in total. Each tup was fitted with a harness with a coloured crayon type block attached to his chest, in turn, this marked each of the ewes during mating. Read more information about tupping at the bottom of this post.

SONY DSC

Mating Time- Autumn 2017

Five months later, Spring has arrived and with it, a small flock of eighteen ewes and 32 lambs.Little lambHaving a PeeEwe and lamb 2For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of coming into contact with new lambs, I’ve put together a two minute selection of  clips from this past week. Please excuse the conversation I have with them!

© SueW-nansfarm.net April 2018  Responding to the word-prompt Notable

Tupping Continued: Some farmers choose to have each ram wear a different coloured block in order to differentiate the parenthood. Other farmers change the colour of the block every couple of weeks to gauge when the lambs are likely to be born.

The ewes come into season around October/November and they are receptive (willing to mate) for about 30 hours at a time, every 17 days. The tup (ram) detects the hormonal changes in the ewes using receptors under his top lip; this is how he knows when to mate with each ewe, but the ewes will also seek out the tup. The gestation period for sheep is approximately five months.

18 thoughts on “Spring has Sprung!

  1. You are a regular farmer with all that knowledge. Before my husband and I were married, he was a cattle rancher and studied bovine genetics, etc. extensively. I was a city woman, and living 30 miles of dirt road from the nearest town did not appeal to me. His health required him to give up ranching about that same time, so he left his cattle industry and became an artist and a chuck wagon builder.

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    1. A change of direction sounds just what the doctor ordered Margo.

      For my late husband, this life was a sideline, a hobby. In ‘real life’ he was a comedian but initially he worked in his father’s butchery business and during his college days he worked on a neighbouring farm. As a city girl I had to learn, but I took to it like a duck to water and after forty two years of living here I cannot imagine living anywhere else

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  2. I found your tup pence worth most interesting! The ewes were in great conversational form, weren’t they?
    In my ‘Baa’ novel I had Rambunctious, a trouble-making ram shut up in a field all on his own, say, ‘I feel utterly ewes-less!’

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    1. Thank you for you amusing comments!
      The 🐑🐑see a human and immediately expect a bucket of food, similar to a dog barking at you. I think I shall have to read you ‘Baa’ novel Les.

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  3. You’ve bought back so many lovely memories of when I used to spend my school holidays out on uncle Bills, and aunty Phyll’s(Splinter) farm, out Freshwater way. Thanks Sue.xx

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  4. Five months? I didn’t know that. I suppose as they have the lifespan of a dog that, to a sheep, five months is a long as 9 months to us.

    Piffle. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

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  5. gc

    Not a baa ad article. Ewe captured the essence of the spring return to life theme wonderfully well. A wooly tale about sheep is always captivating. Thank you for sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Author Interview – Tosca Lee – “ISCARIOT”, “THE LEGEND OF SHEBA”, “DEMON: A MEMOIR”, “HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE”, The “Books of Mortals series” with Ted Dekker (“FORBIDDEN”, “MORTAL” & “SOVEREIGN”), “PROGENY

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