Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Color-blind Mama

One morning this week The Farmer went out as usual to check for new babies. Sometimes he finds several babies and several moms and has to sort out who belongs to whom, as they are all in one big pen. The moms know their babies by smell, and it's very easy to tell by holding a lamb close to the ewe's nose whether it's hers. In fact, we lead the moms out of the large pen and into their individual hotel rooms (a.k.a. bonding "jugs") by backing slowly out of the large pen while holding their lambs.

This particular morning he was a bit surprised to find that an unusal alliance had been formed.

This is a Suffolk ewe with a Polypay lamb. There is NO way that this baby belongs with this mama. But here he is, nursing away. There is NO way that this ewe would allow him to nurse unless she thought he was hers.

We suspect that a fruitful Polypay mom had a set of twins or triplets, and while she was busy birthing someone else, this baby was adopted by this ewe, who was herself in labor and feeling motherly.

So we have a black faced mama with two lambs--one black faced like her, and one completely white--a color-blind mama.

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