Welcome to the world, little one! “Duke,” nicknamed Lil’ dude by my youngest, made his appearance Jan. 22. He has been a highly talked about and much anticipated addition to our animal family. My oldest purchased and showed his mother, Olive, last year. She was bred in the fall, then after a five month gestation, became a mom! Of course my kids have seen a lot of calves born on the ranch, but having a new baby lamb around is a new adventure. Raising animals teaches kids so much responsibility. Even though I showed sheep when I was in 4-H, it really wasn’t my favorite project, and honestly, I don’t remember a lot about it. It’s been a lot more fun and definitely a family activity this time around as two of our girls raise and them now.
We moved Olive and my E’s ewe, Odette, to the barn Jan. 15 because Olive was due on the 18th. We had to check her several times a day, then also about every two hours throughout the night. Those last few days after her due date were getting rough. It was like having a newborn again! We were up in the middle of the night checking her. Finally, that last morning I had a feeling it was the day. She was showing signs like her udder getting bigger. Sure enough, we got to the barn at 6:40 a.m. and she had literally just had him. He was still wet and she was starting to lick him off. We moved him to under a heat lamp and MJ helped dry him off with towels. Olive is such a good mama, taking right to her baby. He got up and started nursing. We weighed him and he was 8 lbs. After awhile when we knew they were doing well, I took MJ to school. She hadn’t minded missing the first couple hours to experience all this. I kept checking on him throughout day, and all the kids came to see him after school. We’re so thankful for a good experience lambing out this first ewe!