Lambs grow fast, or at least they should. Most of the time lambs can be weaned anywhere from 60-120 days, depending on the circumstances. Weigh all the lambs on the same day, and then adjust for their ages and a few other factors to calculate how each of your ewes is performing. Textbook perfect, right? Well...
I don't know why I didn't think of this before it was actually time to weigh the lambs, but we only have a bathroom scale. In theory however, all you should need to do is:
1.) Weigh the husband.
2.) Convince the husband to stand on the bathroom scale while holding the lamb.
3.) Subtract the weight of the husband from the weight of the husband plus the lamb.
Easy, right? Um, not exactly.
What I failed to consider was that you need to place the bathroom scale on the concrete to get a good reading, and the closest concrete was about 100 feet from where the lambs were located in the field with their mothers. Even the smallest wiggly rascal was too big for me to carry. The hubs was busy working on the chicken house, so I figured, well, no big deal, I'll just put a halter on them and lead them up to the barn one at a time and once I get them up there I'll call him.
The neighbors were having a party. I sincerely hope that there was enough distraction up there that they didn't notice or hear what transpired next. The lambs pulled and jumped and hollered like I was trying to lead them to the slaughter. "MLEEEEEEEEEEH!!!" Then they laid down dramatically and refused to get back up again, as if to say, "I give up! Just kill me now!" I was trying my best to gently lead them. I didn't see this coming and in retrospect I really don't know why. (Duh.) Finally one of the little things leaped high up into the air (flew actually, with all four feet at least a foot and a half off the ground) and landed with a dramatic thud right on her side in the grass. I had no idea she could jump that high. It was at this point that I realized this now qualified as a fail. Poor thing. She was unhurt, but now I wasn't sure how to proceed from here. Fortunately, my awesome husband came to both of our rescues and scooped up the wild little lamb and carried her the rest of the way for me. She was happy to be held and calmed down easily. I quickly recorded her weight and we moved on to the next guy: a big hoss of a ram lamb out of my three year old ewe. He was born earlier than most of the others and was kicking like a mule. "READ IT QUICK!" the hubs managed to grunt as he struggled to contain the animal. I leaned down and glanced at the numbers and then shouted, "OKAY!" I dodged out of range and Lance was finally able to set him down without incident. We gave them their vaccinations and released them back to their worried mothers.
Everyone lived through the event and the weights of my babies ranged from 43 lbs for the smallest to 77 lbs for the big ram lamb. Note to self: get one of those scales that you can hang from a tree branch in the field and a lamb sling designed for this to hold them in for next year. Should make things a whole heck of a lot easier!
I'm Debbie. I love listening to chickens cackle and sing. I love Lindt chocolate truffles, a good cup of coffee, and a good book.