As we approach lambing season for 2023, the majority of our Dorset ewes are getting ready to lamb in mid-February. An ideal lambing season would result in 2 lambs per ewe and no orphan lambs needing to be bottle fed. There will be some singles and there will be some triplets but hopefully the majority will be twins. One of the nice characteristics of our production Dorset’s is that they are good mothers. They seldom orphan a lamb even in triplet situations.
As the mothers get close to lambing the ewes are moved into a straw bedded pen to be alone with their babies for a few days before moving them in with the other ewes and their lambs.
We have had one orphan lamb in our three years breeding Dorset’s. The orphan was successfully raised through a team effort of bottle feeding. The feeding started 3 times per day and continued for 3 months until she was of weaning age.
After birth the lambs will stay with their mothers and have an immediate introduction to free choice grain and hay through a creep feeder as well as the mother’s milk. This program will continue for 3 months, and the lambs will be a healthy size by weaning and pasture time.
In early May you will see our ewes and the new crop of lambs out enjoying our pastures in front of the barns. Our sheep are very photogenic and pose nicely for pictures all times of the year. And sometimes they get loose and enjoy hanging out in our backyard :)