In November, I purchased 7 blue-faced Leicester ewes and two rams from Zephyr Sheep Farm. They're wonderful sheep. All 7 of the ewes were potentially bred, because they had been with the rams from September 11 to October 16 of 2009. I decided, after receiving them, that I would put them back in with the rams "just in case" any had not ended up being bred in the fall. One of the 7 had a very clear marking on Dec 1, so I assume that she wasn't bred in the fall round. That left me with 6 BFL ewes to lamb in February or March.
Sheep gestation is roughly 145 days. Based on the gestation calculator, I determined that if a ewe were bred on the first or last day:
- Earliest possible lambing date: Feb 4
- Latest possible lambing date: March 11
According to the Zephyr Sheep Farm blog , Leslie was bred around September 21. I think that marking was an unsuccessful attempt because a September 21 breeding should have been roughly a February 14 lambing and she has not lambed. But, I think she is due to lamb pretty soon, because here is her udder. It's the biggest of the bunch.
The blog says Black Pearl and Assyria didn't show breeding marks (i.e. after Sept. 25 when Carol stopped using the marking stuff on her rams). Assyria shows no udder development whatsoever, and I am not sure if she is pregnant at all. Here is Black Pearl's udder - what do you think? Do you think she looks pregnant? I am just not sure. The latest she could lamb would be March 11 - I would have expected more development by now.
My other "maybe" is Corsica. She should have been bred in the fall but here is her udder, which doesn't look like much to me. I doubt that she was bred then....what do you think? You can actually see a teat sort of pointing to the left but there isn't much "udder" to go along with it.
Sloan was marked in "late September" but Carol didn't write the date down...but, a September 30 breeding should have been Feb 23 lambing, in other words, 2 days ago. I do think Sloan is pregnant though - here is her udder. She wouldn't stay still for me, but she looks to be due fairly soon. She's a little smaller than Leslie.
Carol actually saw Alystyne being bred on October 5 (which would imply lambing on Feb 28). Strangely, she has the smallest udder of the 3 "big udder" girls. But Februarly 28 is only 3 days away... Here's Alystyne's udder.
So, at the moment, I see udder development on Leslie, Sloan and Alystyne, and possibly Black Pearl. I suspect Paisley, Corsica and Assyria were not bred on the fall round, but I hope they were in the second round after they arrived here.
In theory, that means I should have 4 sets of lambs between now and March 11, the last date according to when the rams were separated. However, all of the "official" dates are passed, except Feb 28, and Alystyne doesn't look like she is that far along. So overall, I'm really confused and wondering what is going on. I wish I had an ultrasound, but they're a good $4000 or so to buy. Argh.
Well, in other news, Stormy finally had his coat taken off and here he is today. What a handsome youngster! At the moment his fleece is darker than Mom and Dad's fleeces, but maybe he will lighten with age.