Woodland Creek Soay Rams

Woodland Creek Soay Rams
Soay Sheep Ram Assortment

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lambing for final light-wild Skylonda Soay ewe at Woodland Creek

Saturday the last of the four light-wild Soay ewes from Skylonda finally lambed. As with the others, the sire was the self-light ram Express. Another ewe! That makes four ewes and only one ram. All will be what I call "3/4 SCLP" - that is, all are homozygous for light phase, and heterozygous for self-colored. As such each has a 50:50 chance, mated to a self-light ram, of producing more self-light Soays. This is as good of odds as there have been for a long time!
Skylonda Ginger and Dam Skylonda Geege
Only 3 or 4 more ewes to lamb this year. One for sure, the others may not be pregnant. With 17 live lambs on the ground, I don't need too many more this year!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Two new lambs and a stroke of luck

Two more light-phase Skylonda ewes lambed last week. Each had a single, one a ewe and one a ram. With Blue Mountain Express as sire (self-colored light phase) the lambs HAD to be light phase, and as neither ewe was likely to be carrying self-colored gene, the lambs were both light-wild pattern.
Skylonda Indigo '10 - ewe with dam Skylonda Imagine
Skylonda Escalante '10 - ram with Dam Skylonda Georgianna
My stroke of luck was this. I have the entire ewe and lamb flock accessing the far paddock way up our back hill - which I cannot see from the house and yard. After coming home from work I decided I had better traipse up there and check on one ewe that is close to lambing. After watching them all a while, I spot the lamb Indigo acting funny, then realize that in fact she is stuck. Stuck in the fork of a twin-trunk hawthorne sapling! She had apparently launched herself through the gap, and after getting her shoulders through, wedged just ahead of her hips, with her back feet an inch off the ground. Stuck for who knows how long. And these Skylonda lambs don't cry out much, nor did the dam seem concerned at all. I rescued her and she did not seem stiff or cold, so after a bit of massage she ran to mom and started suckling, so I guess no damage done. Here is the "lamb snare" hawthorne, with a "re-creation" of the stuck lamb using my gloves.
I would have never thought of this (never did, obviously) as a risk. Since I don't count heads every day, and had to work the next couple days, it is likely the lamb would have expired had I not, by chance, decided to go up and visit.
Naturally, the one trunk of the hawthorne was removed to eliminate the hazard. The ewes enjoyed getting their revenge on the "almost killer" hawthorne.