Lambs start arriving at Double Ewe Farm the last week of April. Our ewes have exceptional mothering ability and typically deliver their babies outdoors without assistance. We usually find newborn lambs already standing and nursing. Once a ewe delivers her lambs, we scoop up the newborns and lead mom to the nursery in the barn.
The nursery is composed of several pens, known as jugs. A ewe and her lambs spend 1-3 days in their jug. During this time, the family forms strong bonds learning to identify one another by sight, sound, and smell. Lambs quickly learn to respond promptly when their mother sounds an alarm or "rings the dinner bell". While the family is confined in their jug, the ewe is given some of the tastiest, most nutritious alfalfa hay and lots of fresh water to help her produce adequate milk for the lambs.
Lambs are given ear tags when they are about 24 hours old and ram lambs are neutered at the same time. Lambs start to nibble at leafy hay within about three days. They gain strength and confidence very quickly and soon are leaping and playing in their jug driving their poor mama crazy. Once the lambs are eating well, the family is turned outdoors to explore the pastures.
Family bonds are strengthened as ewes take their lambs out onto pasture to leap, twirl, and sprint across the alfalfa-clover fields exploring their new world with their cousins. Mothers, aunts, and grandmothers take turn lamb-sitting while others graze the lush grasses. Our donkeys take their job as guardian seriously, and watch over the playful lambs. Lambs are weaned at 90-120 days of age.