Updated date:

Lambing Season 2015

I have been raising sheep for over 30 years. The oldest Dutch native sheep breed is called Drenthe Heath Sheep.

Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb 2015

Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb 2015

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 extinct 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 transferred 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 therefore I dare to show you the photo I took of them.

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 its 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 prevent it, other than hoping that this tiny mosquito has gone before the second month of the ewe's pregnancy.

Premature abortion due to the Smallenberg Virus

Premature abortion due to the Smallenberg Virus

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

Mixed Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb

Mixed Fox colored Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb

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 labor, 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 moms milk.

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

Guarded by Mom and All the Aunties

Lamb Smart&Fun's first night outside.

Lamb Smart&Fun's first night outside.

Smart&Fun at the Age of Two Weeks Old

Lambs Smart&Fun and Solaras

Lambs Smart&Fun and Solaras

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

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.

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 squeaks) she comes running in to get her milk.

Cooper Being Bottle Fed by Daughter Iske May

Bottle feeding a lamb

Bottle feeding a lamb

Cooper 6 Days Old

Cooper on her way...to where?

Cooper on her way...to where?

R.I.P. Cooper

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

I kept them in the barn, feeding them some sheep muesli which is full of vitamins, gave her some medicine with a vitamin 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 irregular. 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.

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, 6 Days Old

Dark Fox Spotted Brad will eventually get a white fleece

Dark Fox Spotted Brad will eventually get a white fleece

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 bottle-feed. All ewes were at ease, no signs of getting into labor with any of them. So I left early this morning.

At noon I got a phone call from my daughter: "Mom, I'm feeding the lamb, but right next to me one of the ewes went into labor 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 have 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

Lamb #4 - NatureGirl - born April 5, 2015

Fox spotted newborn lamb

Fox spotted newborn lamb

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.

Lamb Naturgirl: Let's See If I Can Escape Here

Lamb NatureGirl exploring the outside

Lamb NatureGirl exploring the outside

Lamb #5 Favored Fay - born April 5, 2015

Drenthe Heath Sheep Mixed Fox color

Drenthe Heath Sheep Mixed Fox color

Favored Fay

Favored Fay 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 Almost 3 Weeks Old

Lamb Favored Fay at the age of 3 weeks old

Lamb Favored Fay at the age of 3 weeks old

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

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.

Lamb DrMark 4 weeks old

Lamb DrMark is growing fast

Lamb DrMark is growing fast

Ram with Badgerface Color

Badgerface ram Eddy

Badgerface ram Eddy

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

Sockii

This Easter Monday morning, Sockii was just born when I went over to feed the triplets. A beautiful female lamb in a grayish/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 with Her Mom Katinka

Just born Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb

Just born Drenthe Heath Sheep lamb

Sockii Is Already Changing Color

Lamb Sockii is changing its color

Lamb Sockii is changing its color

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 colleague 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

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 much 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.



Lamb Lisa 19 Days Old

Lamb Lisa enjoying the sun

Lamb Lisa enjoying the sun

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

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.

Lamb #10 - Psyche - born April 10, 2015

Beautiful Dark Fox Spotted lamb

Beautiful Dark Fox Spotted lamb

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, 4 Days Old

Lamb Psyche, 4 days old

Lamb Psyche, 4 days old

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

Ping

Ping is a bit special, he's the first Badgerface lamb I got from the Badgerface ram Eddie.

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.

Lamb Ping, 4 Days Old

Lamb Ping, 4 days old

Lamb Ping, 4 days old

Full Grown Ping September 2016

lambing-season-2015

My Flock of Bottle-Fed Lambs

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.

flock of bottle fed lambs

flock of bottle fed lambs

bottle fed lambs

bottle fed lambs

Lamb #12 - Poetryman - born April 12, 2015

Black ewe with her black lamb

Black ewe with her black lamb

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.

Lamb #12 - Rochelle - born April 12, 2015

Spotted lamb

Spotted lamb

Rochelle

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.

Fat Mom Wibbina

Fat ewe Wibbina carrying twins

Fat ewe Wibbina carrying twins

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 labor, 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 labor 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 labor. 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

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.


Dark Brown Lamb Blaze

Dark brown lamb Blaze

Dark brown lamb Blaze

Full Grown Blaze September 2016

lambing-season-2015

Lamb #15 - Solaras - born April 13, 2015

A lovely dark brown male lamb

A lovely dark brown male lamb

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.

Update December 2, 2016

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

Fully Grown Solaras December 2, 2016

Beautiful Drenthe Heath Sheep ram

Beautiful Drenthe Heath Sheep ram

Two Ewes to Go

ewe Othercat

ewe Othercat

ewe Little Ann

ewe Little Ann

Update April 17, 2015

Still no sign on both ewes which indicates they're going into labor. 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

Bottle Feeder Racks 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 cost 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

Six Lambs in a Row

Six lambs at the bottles

Six lambs at the bottles

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

Lamb #16 - Rachel - born April 20, 2015

A selfie of lamb Rachel

A selfie of lamb Rachel

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 super cooled 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 therefore I can keep her.

Lamb Rachel - 10 Days Old

A beautiful lady lamb

A beautiful lady lamb

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

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 super cooled like his sister.

He too carries the badgerface color and I'm sure if he develops 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.

Lamb Lance - 10 Days Old

Lamb Lance is calling his siblings

Lamb Lance is calling his siblings

Lamb #18 - Smog - born April 27, 2015

Beautiful badgerface spotted lamb

Beautiful badgerface spotted lamb

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.

Lamb #19 - Quicksand - born April 27, 2015

Badgerface colored newborn lamb

Badgerface colored newborn lamb

Quicksand

Quicksand 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.

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.


Let Me Know If You like My Lambs

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on March 10, 2016:

@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.

Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on March 10, 2016:

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

Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on March 05, 2016:

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

Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on October 21, 2015:

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

Fay Favored from USA on October 14, 2015:

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 Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 18, 2015:

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 from California Gold Country on April 17, 2015:

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

Kathy McGraw from California on April 11, 2015:

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.

Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 10, 2015:

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 from Planet Earth on April 10, 2015:

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 Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 09, 2015:

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.

Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on April 09, 2015:

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 Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 09, 2015:

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 from New York on April 09, 2015:

Aww, Yofi the lamb is adorable! Thank you!

Fay Favored from USA on April 07, 2015:

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

Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on April 06, 2015:

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.

Fay Favored from USA on April 06, 2015:

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.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on April 06, 2015:

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!

Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on April 06, 2015:

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.

Fay Favored from USA on April 02, 2015:

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 from Central Florida on April 02, 2015:

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

Kathy McGraw from California on April 02, 2015:

Thanks Titia.....:)

Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on April 02, 2015:

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

Titia Geertman (author) from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 02, 2015:

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.

Kathy McGraw from California on April 01, 2015:

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 from Liverpool, England on April 01, 2015:

They get better each year!