January

January 2015: Our ewe, January, relaxes in the high nutrition group.

January 2015: Our ewe, January, seems to hold a secret as she relaxes in the high nutrition group.

I think that our girl January has a secret. For new readers, January is a lovely white Romeldale ewe born in 2010 as one of triplets. Her mother had a true hatred for white lambs, and that year she delivered two solid black (June and July), and one white—our girl January. Within hours of birth, it was obvious that if January was to survive, she would have to become a bottle lamb, so we moved her into our laundry room. This whole turn of events created a very unique sheep, as happy with people as with other ewes. She still recognizes the American Idol theme song from that year—it was a signal to her that she got to come out of the laundry room to play, getting her bottle while we sat in front of the TV. As a result, she has a special place in our hearts and in our flock.

When we ultrasounded our ewes in December, she scanned with twins due February 26th. That would have put her in the lower nutrition group, eating grass hay until shearing, but I didn’t trust the scan. Within hours of the exit of the ultrasound tech, I moved January to the high nutrition group containing ewes carrying triplets (see blog dated Wednesday, Dec. 17th, 2014). I didn’t trust her ultrasound. The year before, she scanned with twins and gave us triplets. I thought it just might happen again.

When I moved her to the new group, I did so as a precaution, not because I thought she was carrying triplets. January’s babies are always big; last year’s three came to a total of 35 pounds (lambs and associated gestational fluids and tissues). I knew she had scanned this year with only two, but I remembered that the same thing happened last year, and after delivering triplets, January was fairly thin going into lactation. Instead of repeating the same, I thought I would move January to the high nutrition group, just in case. It seemed a good way to make sure she ended up in better condition.

As I mentioned at the top of this posting, I think January is carrying a secret – perhaps a little squirming bundle of joy secret. She is getting bigger and bigger—just like last year. Her flockmates in the same group are all carrying triplets, and among that group, January is the biggest of all. Both Rick and I are having a hard time imagining that her increase in size is due to only two lambs. Perhaps it is—but on the other hand, January looks like she knows something that she isn’t sharing. Only time will tell what that might be.

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