Spring at Meadows Bee Farm

2014/05/12 by Posted in: HomesteadingOn the Farm

IMG_4058Spring has finally arrived at the farm, the sap has been boiled and the snow is gone. Now the sheep are front and center. The children from Windham Elementary School visited the farm to watch the sheep being sheared by Gwen Hinman of The Shearer’s Yarn which is located in Acworth NH. Gwen is a professional sheep farmer with years of experience raising sheep and cultivating their wool to produce high quality yarn. The students were able to observe her skill at shearing and then participate by gathering each fleece and bundling it in a sheet with an identification tag to keep it in good condition before it is processed into usable fiber.

Shearing is scheduled in the early spring to ensure the pregnant ewes are comfortable for lambing. So far we have had three ewes Lucky, Ivy and Hurricane give birth to a set of twins each. It is truly amazing to come into the yard to see a new mom with two wet babies, licking them, grunting and nudging their behinds, and the lambs attempting to find nourishment by a series of bonks to her underside until the teats are found. Each ewe and her lambs are then put into a separate stall that is sectioned off into lambing jugs, which is essentially a crib lined with soft hay. It is large enough to move around but small enough to ensure good bonding. A heat lamp is hung from the ceiling to help for the first few days since the nights can still be cold. Fresh hay, a little grain and a bucket of warm water with molasses are given so the ewe can replenish nutrients lost in birthing.

We have a few black lambs and one white, but the most interesting are the white and black spotted rams that look like little panda bears. Sometimes it’s hard getting work done when there is a pack of lambs careening around the barnyard, jumping and butting and then quickly running to mom for a quick session of nursing. Soon they will all be released into the big barnyard to mix with the rest of the animals under the watchful eye of Tatters the Llama.

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