It’s April … time for fresh blooms, warmer weather, and best of all… lambs! Lambing season is my favorite time of the year. There’s nothing quite like seeing adorable baby sheep take their first steps … and yes, they start walking within mere minutes after birth!
Ideally, we get all our shearing done by the time the lambs are due. While our ewes need their fleece to keep warm in the winter, it does tend to get in the way during birth! So, we’re quite busy as we head into lambing season, which happens about 5 months after breeding season.
We shear the fleece, prepare it into felting wool, then gear up to deliver dozens of babies. Phew! With more than 70 ewes expecting, we must make sure they’re all ready to become new mamas.
As always, we have picked our naming theme for this season, this year lambs will be named after Desserts. We are lambing about 94 ewes this year and have already had successful deliveries including Creme Brulee, Pot de Creme and Pana Cotta.
Lambing season involves round-the-clock care and monitoring. Ewes tend to move away from the flock when they’re nearing their due date. But just as with any birth, complications can happen. That’s why Bear Creek has gone high-tech: we have cameras EVERYWHERE to ensure we can be on-hand to help the moms as soon as their little ones are ready to come out! (Psst — stay tuned on our socials as we’ll be doing some livestreams of the experience!)
After they’re born, the lambs immediately need colostrum, which is an antibody-rich milk. Sadly, lambs are susceptible to disease. To protect the new members of our flock, we make sure they get at least 10% of their body weight in colostrum within 24 hours. We also need to keep the lambs nice and warm!
So, we’re keeping a 24/7 watch to make sure everything goes smoothly. It can be exhausting, but the joy of seeing these fluffy babies join our flock makes it all worth it. I’ll have to decide what to name the new lambs this year: last year, they all got Disney names, and the year before, they were named after various kinds of pasta. I like to have a theme as I choose the best and cutest names.
This year, we’re expecting a bunch of super-fluffy lambs from our new Corriedale sheep. We’ve also just sheared the expectant moms’ fleece, which is a lovely medium-fine wool that’s perfect for yarn! So, this spring will be a wonderful time for overdoses of both cuteness and creativity.
If you’d like to learn more about lambing season and all aspects of sheep care, come tour the farm! Our new Nome Eweniversity will soon allow you to meet the flock and learn how to raise your own fiber animals. No farm? No problem. You can always needle-felt your very own sheep friend with extra-curly Teeswater wool. Don’t forget to give her a duckling companion!
Tip: Join my Needle Felting Academy and get access to an exclusive sheep course plus discounts on wool samplers and more. I’ll also be offering a special needle-felting class after the busy lambing season wraps up!