Ewes come into heat once they are with a ram - it's something about the smell or the likes, I don't really know. But I do know that it can take 2-4 weeks after being put with a ram for a ewe to go into heat. Given that Francis was traumatized by a big move to a new farm and that we only left her with Junior for 4 weeks, we didn't think she would get pregnant this year. No big deal, maybe next year.
Notag and Lilly both gave birth around the 4th of July. Shortly after Francis started to act strange. She would separate herself from the herd and sit in the shade most of the day. Jeremy said "I think she could be pregnant." I'd say "No, she wasn't with Junior that long."
Guess who was right?
This morning Jordan and I hoped out of the car on our drive out to do the routine morning oats and scratch. As I approached the pole barn, Francis was standing in the corner and all the others were across the stall staring at her like she was growing a fifth leg. Then I saw it - a little black lamb sitting at Francis's feet. Francis softly bahhed at me as I walked up. My response was "Holy cow!" Then "Jordan, I'm going to need your help."
Since it was just me and Jordan and we had to get Francis and the lamb into the barn, I decided the best tactic would be to let everyone out, separate Francis and lamb to the barn, and then entice the rest back to the pole barn with oats. Simple.
Everyone left the pole barn just fine. I was able to walk right up and grab the lamb. Francis followed nicely as I walk backwards hunched over holding the lamb until we reach the stall in the barn. I was in heals and pearls - yep, pearls - but I'm a professional. Problem was that all the other sheep came into the barn as well. After securing Francis in the stall, I walked around the rest to push them out the door where Jordan was standing. I guess I spooked them a bit because they started to run at Jordan. Two of them jumped, at the same time, on either side of Jordan and at about shoulder height. Jordan threw her hands up in front of her face and let out a very girly scream. With in seconds all the sheep were out of the barn. We both broke out laughter! Once we regained control, we put the sheep in the pole barn and went to work/summer camp.
This afternoon Francis and lamb are doing great. The lamb is a boy, which we are disappointed about - rams are hard to sell. But he is really cute and eating well. Francis is an amazing mom - already protective and giving lots of encouraging kisses to her baby.