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* Lambing Season 2015

Updated on December 2, 2016
Titia profile image

I raise and breed sheep for over 30 years. My breed is the oldest and most rare Dutch native breed, called Drenthe Heath Sheep.

Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb 2015
Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb 2015 | Source

Drenthe Heath Sheep - Drents Heideschaap

I'm breeding this Drenthe Heath Sheep for over 30 years now and each year it's a joy when lambing season starts. Not only because little lambs are cute, but mainly because I can add a new generation to an almost extincted old Dutch sheep breed.

These sheep roamed our country as early as about 1300 and the farmers in the Province Drenthe selected the most hardened ewes and rams to fertilize their poor soil. When people invented the artificial fertilizer, this breed became of much less interest for the farmers and they cross bred it with other sheep breeds to get more meat and thus more money.

The result was that the pure old breed type was disappearing fast. In 1984 an Association was founded with only one goal: to preserve this oldest native Dutch sheep breed. I was there at the start and I'm still here 30 years later, keeping the pedigree book and being an inspector for this breed. In summer I travel throughout my country to inspect the sheep of our members to see if they pass the guidelines set for this rare and old sheep breed.

I give my newborn lambs names and since 2011 I gave them the names of the writers on the former website Squidoo.com and this year I'll give them the names of my fellow writers on this website of Hubpages.

This article will grow and grow until all lambs have been born.

Copyright all photos and text, if not mentioned otherwise: Titia Geertman

Meet the parents of the new lambs

Last year in mating season I had three groups of ewes, each with a different ram. I did that in order to keep the breed healthy and to avoid inbreeding.

In this breed both ewes and rams are horned, however ewes can also be without horns or wear short sticks.

Group 1 = group of the ram Eddy

The color of ram Eddy is called Badgerface, due to the two black lines that run from his eyes to his horns, also his belly is black.
The color of ram Eddy is called Badgerface, due to the two black lines that run from his eyes to his horns, also his belly is black. | Source

Group 2 = group of ram Maupie

Ram Maupie's color is Badgerface too, but his fox color is a bit lighter than that of ram Eddy.
Ram Maupie's color is Badgerface too, but his fox color is a bit lighter than that of ram Eddy. | Source
The color of ram Christof is called Mix Fox, which means that he has a mix of the light and dark fox color.
The color of ram Christof is called Mix Fox, which means that he has a mix of the light and dark fox color. | Source

Colors are not fixed

This sheep breed is what they call multi colored, which means their color is not fixed. Each combination can give all colors available. Black x Black can give black, but it can also give white, brown, spotted or any other color. Quite often the lambs change color when growing into adulthood.

Not that a fox colored lamb can turn into a black sheep, but what seems to be black as a lamb can easily change into a mix of fox colors.

Smallenberg Virus

In 2011 the Smallenberg virus was discovered in Germany. This virus can affect the unborn lamb when it's about 2 months old. It's transverred by tiny mosquitoes called Knut. Infection can result in deformed lambs or spontaneous abortions of premature lambs who are either already dead or die right after birth.

Once stung by this Knut, the ewe develops resistance. The Knut can't survive cold, but last year the temps were way too high in late fall, so they kept flying until the midst of December.

Alas, this year one of my ewes got infected and she delivered her premature stillborn twins a few weeks too early. The lambs were not deformed and therefor I dare to show you the photo I took of them.

Premature abortion due to the Smallenberg Virus
Premature abortion due to the Smallenberg Virus | Source

Premature lambs of the ewe Lady Lotus

The first lamb that got out was the bigger lamb above, the lamb below was second but had died way before it's brother. As you can see it didn't even had hair yet. Both lambs were male lambs.

It wasn't the start of the lambing season one wishes, but those things happen and there's nothing we can do to prevend it, other than hoping that this tiny mosquito has gone before the second month of the ewe's pregnancy.

Lamb #1 - Smart&Fun - born April 1, 2015

Mixed Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb
Mixed Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb | Source

Smart&Fun

Last night I noticed that ewe AuntieGreet kept herself on a distance from the other ewes and when ewes do that, it's a sign that giving birth is not far off. This morning it was obvious that she had gone into labour, so I put her in the barn, because it was storming outside.

Within the hour she delivered this beautiful female lamb in the color Mixed Fox and within 15 minutes after birth the lamb tried to stand and was searching for mom's milk.

I will add more photo's when the weather has calmed down and the ewe will take her lamb outside.

Smart&Fun is the namesake of writer SmartAndFun

Guarded by Mom and all the Aunties

Lamb Smart&Fun's first night outside.
Lamb Smart&Fun's first night outside. | Source

Smart&Fun at the age of two weeks old

Lambs Smart&Fun and Solaras
Lambs Smart&Fun and Solaras | Source

Update November 12, 2015

Smart&Fun has been sold to a big herd up North along with 4 sisters.

Lamb #2 - Cooper - born April 2, 2015

Newborn black Drenthe Heathe Sheep lamb
Newborn black Drenthe Heathe Sheep lamb | Source

Cooper

I left the house tonight for about 2 hours and when I came back, there was a surprise waiting for me in the barn. Black female lamb Cooper was hopping around and she wasn't much older than about 1 hour I think because she was still wet. Cooper is the twin sister of ram Brad (below). Their mom is the ewe LilyMom. Cooper will stay black. She's a very lively little lamb, ready to explore the world around her.

Cooper is the namesake of writer tlcs (Trudy Cooper)

April 6, 2015: Update on Cooper

The next day after birth, Cooper's mom Lilymom decided to raise only one lamb and she rejected Cooper. Why ewes do that I don't know, but it happens. So Cooper is bottle fed from now on and she is doing very well. Whenever she hears me open the barn door (it squeakes) she comes running in to get her milk.

Cooper being bottle fed by daughter Iske May

Bottle feeding a lamb
Bottle feeding a lamb | Source

Cooper 6 days old

Cooper on her way...to where?
Cooper on her way...to where? | Source

R.I.P. Cooper

Update September 25, 2015.
Last week I noticed that lamb Cooper wasn't well. She had diarrhoa and the flies had found her and had layed their eggs on her (myasis). I took her home along with three other lambs for company. I cleaned her behind until all magots were gone. Luckily the damage wasn't too bad.

I kept them in the barn, feeding them some sheep muesli which is full of vitamines, gave her some medicine with a vitamine B12 boost. She seemed alright, but then after a few days I noticed that she wasn't getting any better, rather getting worse. She obviously was in pain. So I took her to the vet. He said I had done the right thing with treating the myasis, but noticed that her breathing was somewhat unregular. He listened to her lungs, but they were alright.

It could be her heart, it could be a lot of other things causing her present condition so I decided there and then hat it was best for her to put her down and end her misery.

Lamb #3 - Brad - born April 2, 2015

Drenthe Heathe Sheep lamb in the Mixed Fox color.
Drenthe Heathe Sheep lamb in the Mixed Fox color. | Source

Brad

The twin brother of lamb Cooper above, is a beautiful male lamb. I'm very pleased with his color which will turn into a mixed fox color. It probably will lighten up when he grows older.

Brad has a spotted body (white spots) but in a few months his fleece will turn to a very light grey/brownish white like his mom has. His spots will disappear on his body. He looks like his dad, the ram Christof.

Brad is the namesake of the grandson of writer tlcs.

Brad, 6 days old

Dark Fox Spotted Brad will eventually get a white fleece
Dark Fox Spotted Brad will eventually get a white fleece | Source

Easter Sunday Triplet Lambs from Mom Lien

Well it was quite a day today. First I had to take a two hour trip to meet up with our youngest daughter Lynn Karijn to hand over the slatted base of the bed my hubby had forgotten to load into the Van last Friday. Anyway, my eldest daughter and my hubby would take care of the lamb we have to bottlefeed. All ewes were at ease, no signs of getting into labour with any of them. So I left early this morning.

At noon I got a phonecall from my daughter: "Mom, I'm feeding the lamb, but right next to me one of the ewes went into labour and there's one lamb. I said ok, she can take care of herself. Few minutes later she called again. " Mom there are two lambs now". I said, ok we have a pair of Easter lambs. Few minutes later: "Mom there are three lambs now", and I thought Oh WOW, I don't like triplets, because most of the time one will end up at the end of a bottle with milk, because the two strongest lambs won't allow it to get to Mom's nipple.

One hour later she called again: " Mom the ewe went off to eat and left her lambs screaming, is that normal?" Hell no, that's not normal at all and I asked her to lock the ewe with her triplets inside the barn.


At that moment I wished I was the Hulk, who could just cover the distance in one or to hops, but the reality was that I was two and a half hours by car from home. So the meeting somewhere in the midst of my country with my youngest daughter went as followed: Hi Mom, I gather you want to return home straight away? I said Oh you know about the triplets? She said yes, Iske has put them on Facebook and she showed me the picture, because I still didn't know for sure which ewe it was that had gotten triplets. So I looked at the picture and then I knew. We kissed goodbye and I drove off for a two and a half hour trip back home. I think our meeting lasted less then 10 minutes.

At home I found out that the ewe had a rather too small udder with no milk in it at all. I had never encountered that before, but that opened a big problem because newborn lambs need the first mom's milk called collostrum. If they don't get it within the first 24 hours, they'll get sick and die. I didn't have artificial collostrum and it was Easter Sunday. I called the vet but they didn't had it either but he said that the agricultural shop at 15 min. drive was open today. So I went to get some bottles and the collostrum and finally could bottle feed my triplet Easter lambs.

Just born Triplet Easter Lambs
Just born Triplet Easter Lambs | Source

Lamb #4 - NatureGirl - born April 5, 2015

Fox spotted newborn lamb
Fox spotted newborn lamb | Source

NatureGirl

NatureGirl was the first born and she is a beautiful fox/white colored lamb. The white on her face might disappear or it might stay. We will see in a few months. Her fleece will be white. She's one of the triplets of ewe Lien and she has a sister Favored Fay and a brother DrMark.

NatureGirl is the namesale of writer Naturegirl7s

Lamb NaturGirl: Let's see if I can escape here

Lamb NatureGirl exploring the outside
Lamb NatureGirl exploring the outside | Source

Lamb #5 Favored Fay - born April 5, 2015

Drenthe Heath Sheep Mixed Fox color
Drenthe Heath Sheep Mixed Fox color | Source

Favored Fay

She is a lovely mixed fox colored lamb with a loud voice, like her sister NatureGirl and brother DrMark. She's doing fine and drinking lots of milk. Funny thing is that the triplets stick together and when one is 'lost' it starts screaming until it finds the others again.

Favored Fay is the namesake of writer Favored

Favored Fay almost 3 weeks old

Lamb Favored Fay at the age of 3 weeks old
Lamb Favored Fay at the age of 3 weeks old | Source

Update November 12, 2015

Favored Faye has been sold to a big herd up North, along with 4 sisters.

Lamb #6 - DrMark - born April 5, 2015

Badgerface colored lamb
Badgerface colored lamb | Source

DrMark

I'm very glad with DrMark because of his color which is called Badgerface. See the black lines that run from his eyes to his (yet to grow) horns? Badgers have those too, hence the name. Badgerface colored sheep are totally black at the downside of their body. Normally the black runs from the chin all the way to the tip of their tail. You can see that on the photo of ram Eddy below.

He has two sisters, NatureGirl and Favored Fay.

DrMark is the namesake of writer DrMark1961

Lamb DrMark 4 weeks old

Lamb DrMark is growing fast
Lamb DrMark is growing fast | Source

Ram with Badgerface color

Badgerface ram Eddy
Badgerface ram Eddy | Source

Not perfect Videos

I make these videos with my photo camera and they're not perfect, but at least you can see and certainly hear what's on it.

Easter triplet lambs

Triplet lambs outside making a lot of noise

April 7, 2015 Update on Mom Lien

Mom Lien wasn't doing quite well, she is still very weak, but she'll survive. I called in the vet today to have a look at her, because she started to limp with her rear leg too. She had really given all of her own recourses to her lambs. He gave her some shots, something to ease the pain and antibiotics and I have to give them to her for the next two days.

Darn, I breed these sheep for over 30 years and never had this happening to one of them before. I'm still learning new things each year. I know the signs now, so it won't happen again (I hope).

Four lambs at the bottle feeder and two by hand

Lamb #7 - Sockii - born April 6, 2015

Beautiful lamb in a greyish/brown color
Beautiful lamb in a greyish/brown color | Source

Sockii

This Easter Monday morning, Sockii was just born when I went over to feed the triplets. A beautiful female lamb in a greyish/brown color. Her fleece will turn white though in a couple of months and I think her face will lighten up a bit to a pale/brown color. Her mom Katinka is a very good mom, this is her first baby. Alas and totally beyond our comprehension writer Katinka (Spirituality) has been banned from this site.

Sockii is the the namesake of writer Sockii

Sockii with her mom Katinka

Just born Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb
Just born Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb | Source

Sockii is already changing color

Lamb Sockii is changing its color
Lamb Sockii is changing its color | Source

Update November 12, 2015

Sockii has been sold to a big herd up North, along with 4 sisters.

Lamb nr. 5 at the bottle

Last night the ewe SusannaDuffy delivered twin lambs, a girl and a boy. This was the second time Susanna got lambs and last year she had been a good mom, so I didn't pay too much attention. However later that evening I noticed she hadn't licked the male lamb quite clean and I saw her pushing him away, which is not a good sign.

I put all three in the barn and forced the mom to let the male lamb drink, because they need that first milk in order to stay alive. I did that several times that evening until late night and again this morning, but it was clear that she didn't want that lamb near her, so from this morning on I bottle feed him too.

It's very strange and I have never encountered this that I had to bottle feed so many lambs. And I'm not the only one it appears. A collague breeder has already 9 lambs she has to bottle feed and we hear from other breeders that there are many stillborn lambs this year. Something's in the air, but we don't know what and that's scary. Besides that, even though my sheep get fed good hay, I find my ewes being too skinny. So I will call for the vet tomorrow and let him check on all ewes.

Lamb #8 - Lisa - born April 8, 2015

Looks like a Blue Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb
Looks like a Blue Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb | Source

Lisa

Lisa is a beautiful (probably) Blue Fox colored female lamb that still gets accepted by her mom SusannaDuffy. She's a darling sweet little girl.

The Blue Fox color comes in many variation, from light to dark. The main characteristics of Blue Fox is the lighter color around the mouth and the lighter circle around the eyes and the often orange (fox) colored ears. In English this color is called Red Eye, because the circle around the eyes often is fox color. We used to call it Red Eye too, but as our breed is a native Dutch breed, our breeding members thought they should carry Dutch names for the different colors. The Blue comes from the grey color they will get in their adult fleece. In our country the grey in sheep wool is called blue. So as they have both the fox and the blue color, we call them Blue Fox. Below I'll show you some variations of this color.

Writer Marcy Goodfleisch wrote: One of my dearest cousins lost her daughter in a bad accident in 2009. If you're able to name a lamb after Lisa, and can send me a PM once it is born, I can let my cousin know. She'd be thrilled, truly thrilled.

So in honour of....

Lisa is the namesake of the lost daughter of Marcy Goodfleisch's cousin.


Lamb Lisa 19 days old

Lamb Lisa enjoying the sun
Lamb Lisa enjoying the sun | Source

Update November 12, 2015

Lisa has been sold to a big herd up North, along with 4 sisters.

Lamb #9 - Yofi - born April 8, 2015

2015: the first black male lamb
2015: the first black male lamb | Source

Yofi

Yofi is a sweet little black guy with a white spot on top of his head, which you can barely see in this photo. He too was rejected by his mom alas, but he's doing fine and is drinking his milk.

Yofi is already starting to seek the company of the triplets and I'm glad. Tonight I found them in the barn, sleeping side by side all together. In the barn there's a hole in each door so you can stick your arm through to move the bolt and when you're very quiet you can peak inside to see what the sheep are doing. I couldn't make a photo though, because the moment I would open the door, they jump up.

Yofi is the namesake of writer Jodijoyous's Cat

Lamb #10 - Psyche - born April 10, 2015

Beautiful Dark Fox Spotted lamb
Beautiful Dark Fox Spotted lamb | Source

Psyche

Today finally a normal and healthy birth of twins, a girl and a boy and they are beautiful and rather big for newborn lambs of this breed. Psyche is a Dark Fox Spotted lamb, looking like her mom Bossy Pants. She was standing on her feet within 10 minutes after birth searching for mom's nipple. The yellow on her back is from the amniotic fluid. Mom will lick and clean her and in a few days she will have a nice white coat. Psyche is the twin sister of Ping.

Psyche is the namesake of writer Psycheskinner

Psyche, 4 days old

Lamb Psyche, 4 days old
Lamb Psyche, 4 days old | Source

Update November 12, 2015

Psyche has been sold to a big herd up North, along with 4 sisters.

Lamb #11 - Ping - born April 10, 2015

Newborn lamb in the color Badgerface
Newborn lamb in the color Badgerface | Source

Ping

Ping is a bit special, he's the first Badgerface lamb I got from the Badgerface ram Eddie. Writer Patty Inglish wrote: You could use my martial arts nickname - Ping. it's the Chinese duck in the story "The Story of Ping" by Marjorie Flack. Captain Kangaroo read it to us every year on his show.

Well, I know Patty is a woman, but I needed a boy's name and in the Story of Ping, the little duck is obviously a 'he', so I thought Patty sure wouldn't mind if I gave her a male namesake lamb. If Ping grows to adulthood as beautiful as his dad is, then he has a long life in front of him and will be used by different breeders to father their lambs from next year on (if nothing bad happens to him). Ping is the twin brother of Psyche.

Ping is the namesake of writer Patty Inglish

Lamb Ping, 4 days old

Lamb Ping, 4 days old
Lamb Ping, 4 days old | Source

The Story of Ping

Full grown Ping September 2016

Source

Lambs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lambs NatureGirl, Favored Fay, Yofi and DrMarkLambs Yofi, Favored Fay, DrMark, Lisa and CooperLambs Lisa and Favored FayLambs Rochelle and PoetrymanSweet little Lisa lamb
Lambs NatureGirl, Favored Fay, Yofi and DrMark
Lambs NatureGirl, Favored Fay, Yofi and DrMark | Source
Lambs Yofi, Favored Fay, DrMark, Lisa and Cooper
Lambs Yofi, Favored Fay, DrMark, Lisa and Cooper | Source
Lambs Lisa and Favored Fay
Lambs Lisa and Favored Fay | Source
Lambs Rochelle and Poetryman
Lambs Rochelle and Poetryman | Source
Sweet little Lisa lamb
Sweet little Lisa lamb | Source

Problem with these bottle fed lambs is that I can't get any distance between them and me to take good photos. I have to catch them off guard, but then they mostly sleep.

My flock of bottle fed lambs

flock of bottle fed lambs
flock of bottle fed lambs | Source
bottle fed lambs
bottle fed lambs | Source

Lamb #12 - Poetryman - born April 12, 2015

Black ewe with her black lamb
Black ewe with her black lamb | Source

Poetryman

When ewe Amkatee delivered her boy and girl twins, I was out of male names, when this black male lamb was born. I only have female names left on my list of writers and what I did was the following: I searched the forum for male names and came across the name Poetryman and I thought that's a good name for this lamb. I send a pm to this writer to ask permission to use his name for the lamb and he wrote back: I certainly have never had a request like this before. What the heck. Go ahead!

Poetryman is the twin brother of Rochelle.

Poetryman is the namesake of writer Poetryman6969

Lamb #12 - Rochelle - born April 12, 2015

Spotted lamb
Spotted lamb | Source

Rochelle

Rochelle is the twin sister of Poetryman and she's a darling lamb with a big voice. The moment she came out she shook her head and started screaming to let her mom know she was finally there. She has the color Blue Fox Spotted, though I doubt if the white spots still will be there when she's a grownup. Some will stay, some will disappear. On her head and legs that is, because her fleece will turn white.

Rochelle is the namesake of writer Rochelle Frank

Fat Mom Wibbina

Fat ewe Wibbina carrying twins
Fat ewe Wibbina carrying twins | Source

This old gal surprised me

I took this picture of my old mom Wibbina (born 2009) just to show you how fat ewes that carry twins can get. Time on the photo says 15.05pm. I had just fed the bottle lambs and nothing was out of the ordinary. Normally when a ewe gets into labour, it takes some time until she actually gets to the heavy contractions. She has to be sufficiently dilated.

Some ewes show that first state of labour very clearly because they keep returning to the same spot in the meadow over and over, or stay there all the time. For instance when I found ewe Amkatee standing in her corner in the morning and not moving from there, I knew she would deliver her babies that day. Ewe Wibbina however showed nothing, she was all over the place just like any other day. Never did I notice any uncomfortable pain sign.

Anyway, two hours later at about 17.30pm I went over to see if I could take some pictures from the lambs and suddenly I heard that familiar special noise ewes makes just before and just after they deliver lambs. So I peeked into the barn and there Wibbina was and number two lamb had just come out. That really surprised me because two hours before there had been no sign whatsoever to indicate she was already in labour. That's how I like it. Plop out two babies and move on.

Lamb #14 - Blaze - born April 13, 2015

A lamb selfie
A lamb selfie | Source

Blaze

I waited till this morning to take pictures of the newborn lambs, but Blaze didn't want his picture taken and was constantly running away from me. So I picked him up and we made a selfie, which turned out very well I'd say.

Blaze and his twin brother On Hold, are of a color I haven't had in years, Dark Brown Fox and I truly regret that one of them isn't a girl, because girls I can keep, but I can't use the rams for my own breeding program.

Blaze is the namesake of the grandson of KathyMcGraw2

Dark Brown Lamb Blaze

Dark brown lamb Blaze
Dark brown lamb Blaze | Source

Full grown Blaze September 2016

Source

Lamb #15 - Solaras - born April 13, 2015

A lovely dark brown male lamb
A lovely dark brown male lamb | Source

Solaras

Solaras is a bit smaller than his twin brother Blaze, but that didn't keep him from letting us know he was there. Boy does this lamb have a voice and does this lamb show that he's a boy. Look at the big knobs on his head. They will grow out to beautiful horns, just like his father has.

Solaras has a beautiful dark orange/brown color. His fleece will turn white though. Unbelievable, but true, within a few months it will change color. His head and legs will stay the same.

Solaras is the namesake of writer Solaras

Update December 2, 2016

Solaras has grown into a very beautiful ram and is pleasing the ladies in other flocks now.

Solaras December 2, 2016

Beautiful Drenthe Heath Sheep ram
Beautiful Drenthe Heath Sheep ram | Source

Two ewes to go

ewe Othercat
ewe Othercat | Source
ewe Little Ann
ewe Little Ann | Source

Update April 17, 2015

Still no sign on both ewes which indicates they're going into labour. I have to go away for a whole day tomorrow and I'll bet they both are waiting till then to deliver their offspring.

Four lambs at the bottle feeder

Lambs at the bottle feeder, works very well
Lambs at the bottle feeder, works very well | Source

Bottle feeders are not cheap

Bottle feeders for lambs are not cheap (45 euro), so I didn't want to buy another one for the two little ones, because I don't think I will have this many lambs at the bottles anymore in the future.

So my hubby made me one for the two remaining lambs. It works very well and only costed a few hours of work and now I have my hands free when feeding the lambs. Clever hubby I have.

Homemade bottle feeder

Homemade bottle feeder for lambs
Homemade bottle feeder for lambs | Source

Six lambs in a row

Six lambs at the bottles
Six lambs at the bottles | Source

Lambs Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lamb Rochelle found the perfect place to restEwe BossyPants with Psyche and PingLamb Brad playing Peek-A-BoohLamb Sockii just woke upLamb Smart&Fun with lamb On Hold
Lamb Rochelle found the perfect place to rest
Lamb Rochelle found the perfect place to rest | Source
Ewe BossyPants with Psyche and Ping
Ewe BossyPants with Psyche and Ping | Source
Lamb Brad playing Peek-A-Booh
Lamb Brad playing Peek-A-Booh | Source
Lamb Sockii just woke up
Lamb Sockii just woke up | Source
Lamb Smart&Fun with lamb On Hold
Lamb Smart&Fun with lamb On Hold | Source

Update April 20, 2015

This morning when I went to the barn to feed the lambs, I found Mom Othercat outside with one beautiful female Badgerface lamb. I was very surprised that she had only one. She cared but wouldn't let it drink, so I took the lamb to put both inside the barn. There I found another lamb, also Badgerface, but male. It became clear that Othercat didn't want this one, she pushed it aside quite harshly.

Oh boy, that was number 7 on the bottle, but an hour later I noticed that Mom Othercat hardly reacted to the lamb she did accept. While the little lamb was inside the barn, the ewe was outside eating, which is not a good sign of good motherhood.

I decided there and then, that I would bottle feed both newborn lambs, because when a lamb is left alone for too long without getting any milk, it will cool down quickly and die.

The female is a bit weaker then her brother and she's not drinking from the bottle very well, but I managed to get the first milk in. I have good hopes she will survive.

Last year Othercat had one lamb and his starting period didn't go very well either, though eventually she did let him drink. It's not good to breed with a ewe that doesn't take good care of her offspring. She can stay on for a few years longer, because she has the most beautiful black/grey fleece, but no more lambs for her.

Lambs from Othercat - left male, right female

Twin badgerface lambs
Twin badgerface lambs | Source

Lamb #16 - Rachel - born April 20, 2015

A selfie of lamb Rachel
A selfie of lamb Rachel | Source

Rachel

Rachel and her twin brother were born at night or early morn. As you can read above, her mom accepted her, but wouldn't let her drink. That fact caused Rachel to get supercooled and if I had not taken her in the house to warm her up and forced some milk in her, she surely would have died.

Lambs can stand cold rather well proviso they can drink the warm milk from their mom.

I'm very pleased with her because she carries that badgerface color and she a female and therefor I can keep her.

Rachel is the namesake of writer Relache

Lamb Rachel - 10 days old

A beautiful lady lamb
A beautiful lady lamb | Source

R.I.P. Rachel

Update September 18, 2015

In the 5 months of her life, Rachel didn't grow as fast as she should have. She showed a big lag in development and stayed rather small, no matter what I fed her. Then last week I noticed she was very skinny flesh over bone, so I took her home with three other lambs (see Cooper). I gave them some sheep muesli to eat, which they loved, but suddenly Rachel choked and within 3 minutes she was gone.

Could well be that Rachel had a problem from the day she was born. As you can read above she didn't had a good start to begin with. You never can tell what 's going on inside a lamb. You can do your utmost best to keep them alive, but nature always goes her own way.

Lamb #17 - Lance - born April 20, 2015

Newborn lamb in Badgerface color
Newborn lamb in Badgerface color | Source

Lance

Lance, the twin brother of Rachel, was left alone in the barn by his mom Othercat and she didn't want him to come near her. Lucky for him he was in the barn, so he didn't get supercooled like his sister.

He too carries the badgerface color and I'm sure if he developes in the right way, he will find his way to other breeders.

Both lambs see me as the provider of warm milk and whenever I show my face, they crawl around me, which makes it very difficult to take good pictures. I had to make a selfie from both.

Lance is the namesake of writer Jayne Lancer

Lamb Lance - 10 days old

Lamb Lance is calling his siblings
Lamb Lance is calling his siblings | Source

Lamb #18 - Smog - born April 27, 2015

Beautiful badgerface spotted lamb
Beautiful badgerface spotted lamb | Source

Smog

It took some time before lamb Smog saw the light of day. His mom Little Ann was in no hurry at all to deliver her twin male lambs. For the last three days I predicted they would come, only to find out they didn't. Today however on the birthday of our King, she really meant business and late afternoon she delivered this beautiful badgerface/spotted male lamb.

Smog is the namesake of writer tsmog (Tim Mitchell)

Lamb #19 - Quicksand - born April 27, 2015

Badgerface colored newborn lamb
Badgerface colored newborn lamb | Source

Quicksand

Quicksan followed his twin brother within 20 minutes. He also is a badgerface colored lamb, only without the white spots. He's a bit smaller than his brother, but he was hopping around within an hour after birth. I'm very pleased with him too.

However both males will have to leave eventually, because I myself can't use them for breeding, but I'm sure they will find good homes next year.

Quicksand is the namesake of writer quicksand

Lambing Season 2015 has come to its end

I'm very happy with all 19 lambs, despite the fact that I have to bottle feed 8 of them. In the more than 30 years of breeding, I never had so many lambs on the bottle as this year. I really don't know what caused it, but I read an article the other day that due to the missing of a real winter here, the ewes had stored too much fat in their bodies, which caused in some cases to have not enough space in their bellies for the lambs. The result was that their stomachs got pressed so they couldn't eat enough to keep them going. They almost starved themselves, giving all they got (and in some cases more) to their lambs.

I have never had this happening before, so I didn't know the signs. Now I know and now I know what to do. Even after 30 years of breeding you learn new things each year.

A final video is in the making but the battery went dead so I have to wait until it's charged again.

This is why I can't make photos of the bottle lambs, they won't do anything when I'm around, so I asked my hubby to take some pictures

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Let me know if you like my lambs

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    • Titia profile image
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      Titia Geertman 18 months ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @tlcs: Brad is doing fine for now. Not sure yet if he will pass the breed inspection this summer though. Rams change in appearance in the coming 4/5 months when they grow to adulthood. I'll see if I can make a picture of him this week.

      @Favored: your namesake Favored Fay is roaming the heather fields up North along with some of her sisters. I sold her and 4 sisters to a big herd that needed fresh blood.

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 18 months ago from Hampshire, UK

      Lovely to read your hub. Sad that Cooper didnt make it. How is Brad the ram doing?

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 18 months ago from Minnesota

      I am absolutely charmed by all of your sheep, and I really enjoyed reading this hub! What a beautiful breed you have.

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 23 months ago from Hampshire, UK

      Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear that my namesake cooper passed away! What a shock. I daren't tell Bradley, although I will let him know that his is well. Excellent hub

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 23 months ago from USA

      I check here often to see how my namesake is doing. Was hoping that little Favored Fay was doing well. Have you made any new videos or have recent pictures?

      It is so sad to hear of the little ones who have passed. Thank you so much for updating for us. You're a special lady!

    • Titia profile image
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      Titia Geertman 2 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Rochelle, yes, that's her Mom Amkatee. Another ewe wouldn't allow a strange lamb to climb on her, she would push it away in a rather rough manner.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thank you for using my name, Titia. All of your lambs are beautiful, but Rochelle looks very comfortable. I assume that's her mommy.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 2 years ago from California

      Wow, so many things going on this year with all the twins, a set of triplets, and lots of bottle fed lambs. I was really glad to hear that at least one set of twins did well, and that Katinka is a good mother (just as she was a good mentor :) I am anxiously awaiting word on why so many breeders are also having problems this year. Strange and sure hope it is only one year. OK....any word on if my namesake gave birth, and if it was one or more and are they healthy. Hey, I have a clock I look at all the time, so it reminds me to ask :)

      ***BTW anyone that wants a picture of their namesake, I had Titia make me a clock on Zazzle with my lamb. I love my clock as it is a great reminder of my namesake.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      The sheep here in Brasil are hair sheep and mostly black and brown. It is interesting to see these great pictures and see what a wonderful variety you have there in your country. I hope the little badgerface grows up healthy--can I take him on a tour of Amsterdam next time I am in Europe????

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

      Welcome, Little Lamb Lisa! I am so happy to honor Lisa with a darling lamb. Thanks, Titia. for letting us share in this joy each Spring!

    • Titia profile image
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      Titia Geertman 2 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Yeah Sockii, I just knew you would like to have Katinka as your Mom. This way she's still a bit with us. I get it a bit easier when all lambs will drink from the milkbar, but I have to learn them the new ropes first and lambs are just so stubborn and they hate changes.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 2 years ago from New Jersey

      I literally squeed when I saw baby Sockii...and it's an honor to be one of Katinka's baby as well. Sorry to hear there has been so many troubles with bottle feeding and such this year...I know from my mom's farm and her raising cattle, pigs, and poultry that sometimes there really can just be a general problem in a season that makes successful breeding difficult. I'll be keeping fingers crossed and sending lots of vibes support for all that extra time bottle-feeding!

    • Titia profile image
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      Titia Geertman 2 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Jodijoyous: you're welcome. It was sad that I had to let your own namesake go last year and I think your cat will be thrilled to be the godfather of a lamb :)

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 2 years ago from New York

      Aww, Yofi the lamb is adorable! Thank you!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Hope Mom Lien is doing better. Thanks for all the updates. We do appreciate all your hard work in keeping us informed.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 2 years ago from Covington, LA

      Wow! My namesake is the first born of tripletts! She's lovely, too. Thanks for allowing us to learn about your sheep. I grew up on a cattle ranch and I miss that life.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Easter babies; I love that. They are so adorable. Who are Favored Fay's parents? Still the middle child ... LOL Thank you so much for the honor. Will also post this on the site I told you about Titia.

    • Solaras profile image

      Solaras 2 years ago

      Very exciting hub; I enjoyed learning about your sheep. I used to live in the Netherlands, but that was a long time ago now - almost 20 years. Keep up the great work of preserving these lovely creatures. DrMark will be beautiful!

    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 2 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      Thank you so much for our namesake's absolutely ecstatic that Cooper was black! And I am so glad you explained about the spots on Brads as he was quite concerned at first when he saw it (he is only 8 and very happy he has a baby lamb of his own named after him!) They are all so beautiful you are so lucky. Thank you Titia.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      So exciting. You've have a busy month already with so much activity on the blessed arrivals. Pray all goes well for the others. Looking forward to your updates.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I wish you good weather for your lambing season and lots of healthy babies.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 2 years ago from California

      Thanks Titia.....:)

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Can't wait to see the new lambs this year!

    • Titia profile image
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      Titia Geertman 2 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Kathy, I'll ask the breeder where your namesake is living now, if she will send me photos as soon as your namesake has her lamb(s).

      Paul, thanks.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 2 years ago from California

      I am so excited to follow along this year. You sold my namesake last year, but can you tell me if she has a lamb this year too :) Thanks, and I really do enjoy all the new lambs and how perfect for the first one to have a name of Smart&Fun for a birth on April Fools Day :)

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 2 years ago from Liverpool, England

      They get better each year!