Newborns

Newborns

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mothering

We're in the midst of lambing, as you may know.  We have had more than 70 lambs born so far - we're about halfway through.  Yesterday, the goats started kidding, too - 3 kids to date.

So far, I'm much more impressed with the mothering ability of the ewes.  Most of our sheep are wonderful mothers - in part because we've selected ewes for this trait.  The goats, by comparison, are not as nurturing.  The first goat kid was born dead.  The doe who kidded today took great care of one kid but ignored the other.  He's now on our hearth warming up after his first meal.

Many people say that sheep are stupid, but I haven't found that to be true.  Sheep are simple, but they aren't dumb - for the most part, our ewes are outstanding mothers.  I suppose that we could select goats for their mothering ability, too, but the independent streak that makes goats seem smarter also makes them less reliable as mothers.

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