Wednesday, my sweet Miss Jacob didn’t come to dinner. The sheep always come to dinner. Sheep are pigs. It was late and already dark. Wednesday was an unusually nice and warm late winter day here. A day that felt more like spring than anything I’ve come to know as winter this year with its steep snows and icy temps. I watched the goats and Poky nibbling all day on anything green they could reach at the fence lines, so I wasn’t too worried about Miss Jacob. I figured they had all been out nibbling at the fence lines and they have acres and acres of pasture and fence line. If she was at the far end nibbling away, it might be making her late to dinner.
Thursday morning, I went to look for her first thing, just to be sure. I remembered that Wednesday morning I’d seen her stretched out rather slothfully on the ground. In fact, so slothfully that I’d gone up to her and said, “ARE YOU DEAD? GET UP!” Because I have Honey and Pepsi flashbacks any time I see one of the animals on the ground. Trouble is, animals like to nap. On the ground. And they get annoyed with my hysteria every time they try to take a nap. I’m pretty sure Miss Jacob said something like, “Leave me alone, Woman. I’m taking a nap, YOU FREAK.” Still, I was getting worried and just needed to see her yesterday morning to be sure.
I saw two little black things gamboling about on shaky legs in the far pasture. I raced back to the house for my camera. By the time I went back down to the meadow bottom and hiked out into the pasture, they were in one of the sheep shelters. Two babies!
I was so excited that I didn’t even notice that THIS WAS NOT MISS JACOB. This (below) is Miss Jacob.
I heard a tiny, plaintive baa-baa from somewhere behind me and turned to find another baby on the bank across the creek. Three babies!
Then I saw what that baby was running toward–my sweet Miss Jacob, and another baby! Four babies!
I whipped back around, realizing what had completely escaped me in my initial excitement. That was JESTER in the sheep shelter.
They BOTH had two babies!
Jester had come to dinner the night before, so hers must have been born overnight.
They were already up and getting around, as were Miss Jacob’s, whose little lambs must have been born in the evening, keeping her from her dinner.
The babies are all nursing and looking healthy.
The mamas are being very accommodating.
When I went down later to check on them again, the babies came right to me and let me pet them and pick them up.
Mr. Cotswold had one very busy day some five months ago to knock up both of them so that they delivered within hours of each other.
I had been starting to wonder if Mr. Cotswold had been busy at all. We initially had the Jacobs and Cotswolds separated, but they kept managing to somehow bust around and get back together. Chasing and separating them over and over, we got a little tired of that, and we don’t have a Jacob ram. After consulting some experienced sheep farmers as well as a farm vet, we put the Jacobs and Cotswolds together, assured that the Jacobs should be able to deliver babies from the Mister. (And, yay, they have!) An added plus is the promise of some interesting fiber with the combination of the Jacobs’ naturally variegated wool and the long, crimpy curls of the Cotswolds. Months went by and no babies had appeared…. Sheep are woolly, so it’s hard to tell what’s going on in there….until something frolics across the meadow.
Still waiting now to see if the Misses Cotswolds will deliver some pretty white pure Cotswolds to us, too.
I don’t care what the calendar says–it’s spring on the farm! We have babies!
I think they look like monkeys.
We have a monkey farm!