Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Goings on, happenings, catalogs and a lamb named Houdini.

Stan will be providing a lambing update in our Feb/March Newsletter. Make sure to sign up if you're not currently receiving our newsletters.

I myself have not been outside much this winter/lambing season. The weather (though mild) has been too cold and the coffee perfectly warm and comforting. In truth, the reason for my lack of polar expeditions was catalog season—non-stop since last fall. The result of my tireless efforts (with assistance from Stan, Jody, Kerrie, Rachel and others) are the Poultry, Equipment and upcoming Fence catalogs.

For those of you eagerly awaiting the arrival of the fence catalog, you may start camping by your mailbox around the 3rd week of March. Until then, the website, blog, Guide to All Things Sheep and newsletter should suffice as your source of info from Premier.

Though I've been inside, I have heard a few tails tales from the lambing barn.

The most notable occurred one morning when one of our shepherds (who shall remain nameless) burst into Graphics and thrilled us with the account of The Phantom Lamb.

While doing chores in the pre-lambing area (where the ewes are kept prior to being put into jugs for lambing) the shepherd heard a faint baa. A quick scan of the pen offered no insights to where the young voice had originated. More baas, but no lamb in sight. Frustrated and ready to move on with chores, our shepherd was moments away from dropping to his hands and knees to check under each ewe for the invisible lamb.

Another baa lead him to a baleage bale situated in one of our bale feeders. A ewe making motherly ewe sounds (you know, the deep throaty grumble that ewes make when speaking to their lambs) was inspecting the bale. Knowing that the ewe did not believe the bale to be her lamb, our hero checked the bale up/down and all around for a lamb trapped against a panel. No lamb.

Another lamb like bleat emanated from the bale. The ewe circled and searched the bale ring. Again, no lamb.

Our shepherd, stopped and pondered all the possibilities surrounding the situation. Could the lamb running around the bale in order to avoid the shepherd and the ewe? Is the lamb hiding elsewhere? Are gases from the silage process escaping the bale and making baaing sounds?

During this thought process, our hero noticed movement from one of the holes in the bale. The loose baleage moved! Had years of raising sheep using non-organic methods caused a mutation in the forage or did a lamb decide to play a drawn out game of hide and seek?

Quickly, the shepherd reached into the bale and below the loose baleage. After finding his target situating his hands in just the right position, he pulled and the lamb (head first with its legs under the chin) came out! Once our hero released the lamb, the lamb bounded straight to its mother for a belly full of milk. The shepherd, having just assisted a bale in giving birth, walked away to continue doing his morning chores and hoping for no more errant lambs.

Upon the ending of the tale, the Graphics folks were doubled over in laughter and I was preparing my next blog post. Names were removed to protect the dignity of the shepherd and all embellishments were added by myself, writers privilege.