Jasmine wasn't due for a few more days but she was looking like she was carrying triplets so we were keeping an eye on her. She had no outward sign of going into labor last night. I was running late this morning so had Chloe run up to the barn to check on her. She was fine - chewing her cud. I walked up there an hour later, let the chickens out and started walking to the barn doors....looked over at the sheep and saw two lambs in the hay. A few minutes later here comes the third one, rear legs first. I started in to help but Jasmine pushed the lamb on out - no problems. This is an experienced mama! She had two ram lambs and a little ewe lamb. Being triplets, a little small and a little early, they needed some coaching in how to nurse. Jasmine just patiently stood there as her lambs, with their human coaches, finally got the hang of it.
It feels like shearing is the real start to my shepherd's year. I brought the sheep into the barn last night to keep them nice and dry for shearing this morning. Twenty-one to be sheared this year - a few hours work for Kevin Ford, Master blade shearer.
The sheep all settled in for the night and it was quiet in the barn except for the sound of them quietly chewing their cud and the rustling of hay - magic. I watched them, loving how the Leicester's locks shine in the light from the overhead barn fixtures.
Kevin arrived a little after 10:30am and we were all ready for him: sheep, family & friends to help, shearing platform, and some hot water (to melt the lanolin from his blades). Except for us quietly talking, and the occasional baa, it's so quiet with Kevin using the "old time" blades - no electric motor buzzing. The fleeces peeled off as Kevin turned the sheep with his expert hands. And by mid-afternoon there was my lovely harvest of wool.