Pleasant Valley Farm

  (Tionesta, Pennsylvania)
Real Family Farming in Tionesta, PA
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Rosa's Special Deliveries

Today brought lots of driving and a less than looked forward to meeting at my day job, so it was good to come home to more baby lambs.  Rosa, had been staying in the barn for the past 10 days or so, baa-ing for food whenever a person came or went.  It can be a bit frustrating, hoping for lambs daily and continuing to wait, but as Dan kept reminding me "they have to come out sometime!"  Today, we have another set of twins.  Rosa is my favorite ewe not only because she's friendly to the point of being a pest, but because her lambs are always just a bit different looking.  The first one I saw was black with a key-like white shape down her face, and last year she had black twins with bits of white markings.  So, before I changed into barn clothes, I asked Dan what the new twins looked like.  "One black, one white, both rams" he replied.  Rams mean boys, which means they won't be here past fall.  That's too bad, I thought out loud, disappointed that I wouldn't have a little ewe to keep as part of the permanent flock.  But Dan reminded me that we never speak negatively as long as there are healthy mammas and babies and the little ones are getting fed without a 2AM feeding from us.  I have to admit how very right he is.  

Upon entering the barn, Rosa began calling to me...or more specifically, to the cookies in my pocket.  I went over to check out our newest arrivals.  One is all black with a tuft of white wool on the crown of his head.  He looks much like his older siblings.  I looked a bit closer at his brother, for a minute I though his wool was still dirty, since being born can be messy.  No, not dirty...brown.  He's mostly white with brown rings around his eyes and brown across his back.  I've never seen a lamb like this before, either here or on any other farm.  Rambo, the father, is a pure white polled Dorset, and Rosa is all black and of uncertain breeding, but all other babies have been black with a touch of white on face or legs.  Some of the other ewes have had all white lambs with some black "freckles" across the muzzle too, and most sheep come out all white.  So he's unique.  And although the boys are newborns, they already are taller than the lambs in the next pen (who are also thriving and bouncing about!).  But most importantly, Rosa is feeding both.  Last year, she also had twins but only cared for one.  The little guy she rejected was also born blind.  While he was able to see just fine a week later, we had to bottle feed him.  I'd much rather feed mama a cookie and let her take care of all the late night and early morning feedings.  Plus a pocket full of cookies is far less expensive than a sack of milk replacer at the feed store!

 

 

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