It's day two and the little ewe lamb is doing fantastic!
I'm so pleased with how easily Fernie is adjusting to being a mama and she very much dotes on her new little one. It's always a concern for the shepherd (or shepherdess in my case) when you are dealing with a first timer. Are they going to know what to do with the new lamb? Will they attach? Will they care and protect their baby? You don't know until it happens.
I did quite a bit of reading before I decided to get Scottish Blackface sheep. I grew up raising Hampshires and while they are a beautiful sheep they do have their issues. Hamps are known to have difficult births because their lambs have big heads and shoulders. It's a bonus once the lambs are born because they grow quickly and are quite thick. Hampshires typically aren't as big as Suffolks (which we raised too), but can be as heavy. In my stage of life and having little ones to care for I wanted a hardy sheep that lambed easy peasy.
Scottish Blackface aren't only known for being easy lambers and milkers, but are also super hardy sheep and have never been a case of natural occurring scrapie. They flock together and so make moving from one pasture to another very easy. They are smarter than your average sheep. I'm serious. I know sheep get a bad wrap when it comes to brains, but these are very smart. They are fence checkers and will get out whenever they are given the opportunity. Ask me how I know.
So far I love this breed. They are smart, maternal, hardy, and beautiful. I really think they are the prettiest breed, but I am sure I am biased. That's ok. The only thing that I don't like is that it is so stinkin' hard to find them around here. Good things are worth the trouble I guess.
My sissy came over yesterday to have dinner with us and we decided to catch Fernie and make sure her milk was in and that her teats weren't plugged. I was sure that the lamb was nursing already, but I wanted to ease my mind. Sure enough everything was golden and lucky for me, I got to hold the new lamb again.
The kids are just smitten by her. If I am being honest, I am too.
I've given our newest member of the Shepherd's farm a name. One that is fitting for a Scottish sheep. Fernie is a Scottish name and it means speckled. When Fernie gets sheared in a few weeks you'll know why she's named such.
I was trying to look up a Scottish name that meant 'first' or 'first born', but I couldn't find anything. I got tired of looking and so decided to just look at the list that was given. As I was scrolling down my eyes came across a name and I immediately knew it was the one. Fernie is my daughter Ella's sheep and since that is the case I would like to introduce to you...
Ella is thrilled that it's so close to hers and Fenella means 'white shoulder'. And well, Fenella does have white shoulders...
Huh, you say?
Ok I didn't name her because of the meaning (although it is applicable), I named her Fenella because I think it is fitting for a ewe lamb and I knew my daughter would LOVE it. Also, you won't catching me naming any of my animals names that I would name my children. How many times can I say 'name' in a sentence?
Isn't she just a beauty? She really is marked perfectly and has such nice conformation.
I know I'm just inundating you with pictures, but I can't help myself!
I even have a video...
I hope you are enjoying this because I am just thrilled that I get to share this with all of you! It really adds to the excitement when I see that my readers (you) are into all this lambin' business.
I think I'll leave you with a funny. I adore my kids far beyond fuzzy, cute lambs. Probably because a) they are cuter b) they're my flesh and blood and c) they are just hilarious...especially my Ella. Look at her face!
***Not sure why they insisted on wearing their bicycle helmets, but I will let my kids be what they are...kids.