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January 24, 2011

Polka Dots

Saturday I helped with the record-keeping at a heifer show, so I fed the livestock before sunrise with a big flashlight and my headlights. The gas pedal on my utility vehicle (similar to a John Deere "mule" but a lot less expensive) was frozen. I could drive forward but had to reach down and pull the gas pedal back up, then use the brake pedal. Fun. Yes, I did start it and let it warm up - but evidently not long enough.

After a very long day, I was back home just after 4:00 PM. I changed to my barn coat and went out to feed. Last on my list is feeding the sheep and Dawg, and I stopped short at the sight of a little polka-dotted lamb in the pen. It was up, dry, and walking like a wobbly newborn. I couldn't tell which ewe was the mother since both walked away from the baby to get dinner when I poured the feed.

So I walked around the barn to their gate and went in to investigate. I picked up the baby to check gender (it's a girl), and the black ewe came over to make sure I wasn't hurting her baby. By the look of the black-and-white ewe's udder, she should be lambing very soon too. She's as big as a house and I'm surprised she is the last to lamb.

Fortunately it was a mild night so we left mama and baby with the flock. Sunday I took my camera out so I could get some photos. She is sure a cutie, white with tan spots - so of course her name has to be Polka Dot.

The older lamb, born on New Year's Eve, is named Surprise. Here she is at 3 weeks old. Now that the super-cold weather is past, we hope to get Surprise and her mother moved back to the sheep pen.

Surprise is sure putting on weight! She started nibbling hay and grain almost as soon as she was born. The difference between baby goats and sheep is astounding. At this age a dairy goat kid is still built like a 2x4, while a lamb looks like a sausage.

I've added a "kid/lamb counter" at the top of my sidebar so you can see how the season progresses. Two girls so far, I sure hope the goats continue that trend!


  1. SO cute! What a fun little surprise - they're the best kind!

  2. Congrats on the new baby girls. They are adorable.


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