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Lambing Season 2016

Updated on November 19, 2017
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Titia is interested in photography, poetry, family, art, dogs, cats, insects, wildlife, history, war, camping, writing, and the environment.

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Multi Colored Sheep

This ancient Dutch native sheep breed Drenthe Heath Sheep is multi colored. It means that it's not possible to breed selectively on a special color. Every year it's a surprise what color the lambs will have.

The Drenthe Heath Sheep (Drents Heideschaap in Dutch) is still in the endangered zone, but after 30 years of selective breeding we've managed to keep it from extinction. We have 250 members in our Association of which about 135 are participating in the breeding program. We have 20 big herds participating.

The Parents of the Newborn Lambs 2016

This year I used two rams and gave each ram a group of ewes. It's important to know the parentage of the lambs so you can avoid inbreeding. It's important to keep a wide arrange of genes in order to keep the breed healthy.

Group 1 = the Group of Ram Tienus

The color of ram Tienus is called Blue Fox
The color of ram Tienus is called Blue Fox | Source

Ram Tienus

Ram Tienus is a beautiful Blue Fox ram. He was born in a big herd up North. Blue Fox is a special color, where the head can be rather dark with a fox colored circle around the eyes and grayish around the mouth. The fleece is white with grey streaks. The Blue Fox color comes in various gradations.

Lilymom Gave Birth to Twins on February 2, 2016

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Lamb #1 - BlackNoseRacoon - born February 2, 2016

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BlackNoseRaccoon

BlackNoseRaccoon is a male lamb and at first sight a black&white spotted lamb. Someone noticed he resembled a raccoon, so that's where his name came from. He's a cute little boy, but it's still uncertain if his black and white spots in his fleece will stay or eventually will change into an all over white fleece.

Lamb #2 - LittleSpoon - born February 2, 2016

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LittleSpoon

LittleSpoon is the twin sister of BlackNoseRacoonc and she's just a little darling lamb. All black with a big white spot on top of her head. Alas after one day mom LilyMom decided she only wanted to raise one lamb and so I have to bottle feed LittleSpoon.

It's the second time in a row that LilyMom is rejecting one of her twins and therefore I won't use this ewe for breeding anymore. She will spend the rest of her life with an old lady in my neighborhood, who will spoil and cuddle her. No use breeding with ewes that don't have a good motherly instinct.

Twins BlackNoseRacoon and LittleSpoon

Two weeks old
Two weeks old | Source

Susannaduffy Gave Birth to a Single Lamb on February 22, 2016

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Lamb #3 - Migaloo Jimba - born February 22, 2016

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Migaloo Jimba

Migaloo Jimba has an Australian name, because he's the son of ewe SusannaDuffy. He's a beautiful black male lamb and SusannaDuffy is a perfect Mom.

Wibbina Gave Birth to Twins on February 26, 2016

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Lamb #4 - BadgerCoolGuy - born on February 26, 2016

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BadgerCoolGuy

BadgerCoolGuy is a male lamb with a special color called Badgerface. You know a badger has those two black lines on his head; well the sheep in this color have those black lines too. They run from their eyes to their horns. They come in light and dark and BadgerCoolBoy is a dark one. He will lighten up some more when he gets older. Besides those black lines the most characteristic of the color Badgerface is the fact that from the chin all the way to the tip of his tail these sheep are totally black underneath and will get a white fleece on top, like the grownup ram below.

This Is How a Grownup Badgerface Ram Looks Like

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Lamb #5 - BlackbellyHunk - born on February 26, 2016

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BlackbellyHunk

BlackbellyHunk is the twin brother of BadgerCoolGuy and he has an even more special color. He too is black underneath and will get a white fleece, only he has no marks at all on his head. It's plain black or black/brown. The Dutch name for it is Kassenbreuker and it's not translatable into any other language. We don't know exactly where the name originated from, but it's been used for ages for this type of color.

Wibbina's Twins at the Age of Two Weeks

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Ewe Amkatee Didn't Get Pregnant This Year

Group 2 = the Group of Ram Blackhorn John

The color of ram Blackhorn John is called Mixed Fox
The color of ram Blackhorn John is called Mixed Fox | Source

Ram Blackhorn John

Ram Blackhorn John is a Mixed Fox ram. This color contains various shades of light and dark brown. Normally a sheep with this color has white horns, but this ram has black horns.

Hornless Sweetiepie Gave Birth to Twins on March 4, 2016

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Lamb #6 - ChestnutSusan - born March 4, 2016

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ChestnutSusan

ChestnutSusan is a beautiful female lamb. I'm not sure yet to what color she will turn out eventually, could be Blue Fox, could be Mix Fox or she could even turn to Light Fox like her mom. We'll see when she grows up. For now I thought she had a beautiful chestnut color.

Lamb #7 - BlueFoxPunk - born March 4, 2016

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BlueFoxPunk

BlueFoxPunk has all the signs to turn into a Blue Fox ram. The light circles around his eyes and the grayish color around his mouth. Now we just have to wait if he gets grey in his adult fleece too.

Twins of Mom Hornless Sweetiepie

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Martyjo Gave Birth to a Single Lamb on March 23, 2016

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Lamb #8 Lovely Josie - born March 23, 2016

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Lovely Josie

Lovely Josie is a beautiful black female lamb. Her fleece will stay black when she's grown up, just like her mom MartyJo. It was the first time that her mom gave birth and she appeared to be a very good and caring mom.

Mom Jaquarjulie Gave Birth on March 27, 2016

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Lamb #9 - OrangeSunshine - born March 27, 2016

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OrangeSunshine

OrangeSunshine is a female lamb in the most original color of this breed called Light Fox. I'm very happy with this little girl, because this particular color tends to disappear, because breeders run after all the fancy colored sheep.

Then There Is Mom Little Ann

How Much Bigger Can She Get?

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Ewe Little Ann

Ewe Little Ann is a beautiful Blue Fox colored sheep. She's a terribly good and caring mom for her babies, but she has one flaw: she let's me think for weeks in a row that she's going into labor and then she's not. This year it was not different.

On March 30 I noticed that she finally got into labor for real and at 18.30pm local time she delivered two beautiful lambs.

Lamb #10 - FluffyMich - born March 30, 2016

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FluffyMich

I gave this male lamb the prefix 'fluffy' because the hairs in his white spots were of a totally different structure than the rest of his baby fleece. His color will probably be Spotted Blue Fox because the white spot on his head will stay. The white spots on his body will eventually disappear as his total fleece will turn to grayish/white.

Fluffymich One Week Old

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Lamb #11 - SweetPrecious - born on March 30, 2016

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SweetPrecious

SweetPrecious is a female lamb and is a bit smaller than her twin bro FluffyMich. She's just a precious little darling with quite some spirit. She shows and let you hear clearly that she's there.

Sweetprecious One Week Old

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Miracles Do Happen

Surprise!

The twins of mom Little Ann were born at 18.30pm local time. When I got back to the barn at 21.30pm to feed the bottle lamb LittleSpoon, I stayed a bit longer to watch the newborn twins. Always a pleasure to watch how those little ones eventually find their mom's nipples.

Suddenly I noticed that the ewe was acting a bit strange. She was lying down again and seemed to have contractions again. Very odd because normally they won't deliver another lamb after three hours. I watched her carefully and again she went down having contractions. That could only mean two things: 1. there's another lamb inside which certainly wouldn't be alive anymore after such a long time, or the afterbirth bothered her. To be sure I called the vet, but he too thought it would be the afterbirth. He said: "You can also feel if there's another dead lamb inside", but I had never done that. I told him that I would keep a close eye on the ewe and would call him again if necessary.

Short after the contractions became heavier, so I decided to go in and see what was in there. Immediately I hit a 'solid wall', couldn't make out what it was, felt no head or legs, but it certainly was something in there. I called the vet again and he said he'd come right away.

Long story short: it was another lamb in there but we both were totally convinced it would be dead by suffocation, because almost 4 hours had gone by since the twins were born. It took a long time for the vet to get the lamb out because he first had to push it back in order to get it straightened out and be able to pull it out. He finally succeeded and put the lamb down in the straw. It was a beautiful full grown lamb and Oh Boy, the moment it hit the straw, the lamb lifted its head and bleated. It really startled us and the vet screamed: "Oh my God, it's alive!!!"



Lamb #12 - LateBoyJoy - born March 30, 2016

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LateBoyJoy

This lamb being alive was a real and true miracle. Nor me, nor the ewe would have been able to get this lamb out the vet said. It went into the birth canal with its head bend over foreword, so what I felt inside were its neck and shoulders. His head was bending over its belly and got stuck between the hind legs. It was a true wonder that the lamb didn't suffocate. He was late, it's a boy and it's a joy that he came out alive, so his name LateBoyJoy suits him very well.

Lateboyjoy One Week Old

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Lambs Grow Fast

In the beginning lambs grow fast. In the photo below you see the first born lamb LittleSpoon (bottle fed) born Feb. 6 and the triplets born March 30 = 6 weeks between them. The little one in the middle gets additional bottle feeding too, because she can't compete with her big brothers as it comes to mom's two nipple milk bar.

Triplet Lambs with Their Older Sister Littlespoon

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© 2016 Titia Geertman

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 months ago from USA

      I saw so many Squid buds on your FB page. Good to see them. The friend tab doesn't even appear when I log in to see your site. A "page" isn't permitted to like "people". Someone set up my account and Nancy Carol tried to get it changed, but couldn't. They say I'd have to open another account and start over. It only let's me share your photos so far, which I have.

      Some of us follow one another on twitter and our blogs, but can't on FB. I saw yours could, thanks. I keep up with you though and can view your site. That's encouraging for me anyway.

      I told hubby about my namesake. He gave the biggest smile! A happy, happy man :)

    • Titia profile imageAUTHOR

      Titia Geertman 

      7 months ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      #Fay Favored: That's weird you couldn't comment, because they're set to public. Try hitting the 'friendship' button. There are lots of old Squids among my FB friends.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 months ago from USA

      I did stop by your FB page to check after I visited here. I loved all the photos & wanted to leave a message, but it wouldn't let me. They are so special to us even though our Squid family isn't around any more.

      We are happy that Favored Fay is still doing well. Hubby has asked so many times & I didn't have the courage to ask ... just in case she wasn't. It would have been nice to have purchased some of her wool. Can't wait to share the good news with him.

      You are such a hard worker and I know it hasn't been easy keeping us informed. We do appreciate it more than you can imagine.

    • Titia profile imageAUTHOR

      Titia Geertman 

      7 months ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Hi Fay Favored, thanks for your comment. I've stopped with the lambing articles because they're bound to get very few views eventually and hard to keep featured. If you want to see the 2018 lambs, they're on my FB page.

      Your namesake is still alive and part of a big herd up North.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 months ago from USA

      It's so great seeing the newborns. I look forward to it each year. Miss seeing them, but hope you are doing well.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      What a delight to see all these. Great photos of all of them!

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 

      2 years ago from London

      I love watching your lambs every year Titia

    • Titia profile imageAUTHOR

      Titia Geertman 

      2 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @KathyMcGraw: The sheep of my fellow breeder will not start to lamb for at least another two weeks and they can go on until halfway May. So you have to be patient a bit more.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      2 years ago from California

      These are some of the best pictures of the lambs yet. It's good to have all the photos in one place, although we are following on FB too:) Now, I still want to know if my ewe namesake had any lambs? I know she had to get sold, but sure want to know :)

    • profile image

      Snakesmum 

      2 years ago

      Lovely to see your photos, as usual. Thanks for sharing.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      2 years ago from USA

      I know this takes so much work, but we truly appreciate seeing all the new lambs and the proud parents. Thank you Titia for sharing these precious times with us. Happy Easter.

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