Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mothering Time

Sunday when Farm Boss went out to check on a first time ewe, who had her water break half an hour earlier, I asked him, along with what he would need to pull the lamb if something had gone wrong, to take a camera. These are the photos he took of the lamb who had fortunately come without help.
These little mixed breed, Shetland ewes make the best mothers. We have yet to have one reject her lamb and believe me that does happen in other breeds.See how quickly the lamb's instincts take it toward the mother's udder.
An hour or so after these photos had been taken, I saw what I at first thought was the young mother leaving the lambing area, looking back the whole time, but without her lamb. That didn't look good; then it dawned on me, when I saw budding horns, it looked like her because it was her twin who had been inspecting the new arrival. There is something so rewarding about raising animals in flocks where it is a herd and not just a meat factory.


robin andrea said...

So sweet to see that newly born lamb.

Bumps Stump said...

Hi Rain . . . Watching birth, whether lamb, calf, colt or human, brings to the curious mind the miracle and complexity of life. Wonderful!


Darlene said...

It's wonderful seeing the love between a mother and her new baby.

I don't think I will ever eat lamb again.

Rain said...

I hope everyone doesn't feel as you do, Darlene, because it'd mean we'd have to stop raising sheep, and I'd feel bad about that. I am close to these. They have our yard to roam through (except the flower and vegetable gardens) and I feel it very strongly when it comes time to butcher any of them; but they would turn this place into a grass-less waste if we had them without selling any. Their numbers must be kept down and some die; so others can live.

I do understand it's hard for people who are so far removed from their food source to think of it that way; but it's what life is about. For all we know even vegetables don't like being killed.

What I wish is more would buy from local growers, such as us, where the animals have a good life right up until the moment it is over. It is their purpose and without that one, they wouldn't have new births at all. By the time a lamb like this one would be killed to be lamb chops, the ewe would be pregnant with another and not care that much. Still, I don't deny it's tough for me. It's the part of this life that I don't like but it's better knowing that they don't suffer, feel fear, and that they provide healthier meat for others.

Anonymous said...

Great, great photos! Both Mom and Baby are SO sweet! One of those fragile and precious moments in life and you get to experience it first-hand. Nothing better than that. Thanks for sharing.

TheWritersPorch said...

Ah....birth on the farm! Such a joyous thing. The twin inspecting put me in mind of our cattle, it seems everyday a new 'babysitter'
minds the five little ones we have.
I always wonder how they arrange this from day to day.Sweet pictures Rain.

Sylvia K said...

Such sweet, beautiful photos! these are the things that make it easier to look away from the ugliness in the world, to be able to see the beauty in nature that is there for us, if we take the time, if we look for it instead of the ugliness that sometimes seem to inudate us. Thanks for sharing these as well as the earlier ones!

mandt said...

One of the great things about a childhood in rural America was an organization called 4-H, wherein we got to raise baby lambs or piglets until they reached maturity and we exhibited them at county fairs. We knew they were destined for food, and even then if was difficult for us to accept our pets had transformed into some other category. It made us think deeply about the nature of life at an early age----at least for me.