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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Helping your Neighbor and good Friend

Living in a very small Farming Community


You have many opportunities to help your neighbor

Soon it will be the time of year when little lambs are being born. Last Spring, a good friend and Sheep Rancher asked us if we could lend a helping hand. His son was getting married in the big city and his yews were giving birth. Our assignment was to make sure that every yew, who showed signs of birthing, would be brought into the large shed where fresh straw and fresh water for drinking (yews drink more than a gallon of water after giving birth) was waiting for them.


There were hundreds of yews. We watched carefully but sometimes they would give birth so quickly that the little lamb would end up outside, in the cold. We would hurry and  pick up the little one and, naturally, the yew would follow, often giving birth to another lamb, once inside. After a little while we would put mother and offspring into a separate holding pen where they were warm and happy.

Internet, "Royal White Sheep"

Some yews needed help birthing. Some yews did not like their offspring. One yew tried to kill her second lamb by forcing it against the cement wall. We had to take all three and put them into a holding pen. We tied the yew by her neck and one foot to only allow limited movement. This way the little lambs could nurse. As soon as their mother's milk is digested and leaves their little bodies, yews will readily accept those lambs they initially rejected.

Now and then some lambs will never be accepted and some mothers will die in the birthing process. These little lambs become "Bummers". I have raised quite a few. There was one quite special Bummer, his name was George and I will tell you his story another time.

George recuperating in his beach house.

It feels great to help your neighbor.  Wouldn't want to make a career out of it.  Raising sheep is hard work.

Have a great week my dear Blogging Friends.



  1. what a wonderful story Gina. I know your neighbor appreciate your help. I dont get to do much for my neighbors as they all seem so self sufficient but after reading your post I think I'll ask if I can so anything or offer in advance to let them know I will gladly help should the occasion arise.

  2. Maybe because my name is Mary, or maybe because lambs look so cuddly; I've always had a special place in my heart for them! Corvallis, Oregon has a huge lambing operation, though I have never visited their barns (open to the public) during the season. I have, though, truly enjoyed seeing the little ones and Moms and Dads frollicking in the meadows alongside the Interstate as I've driven north from Eugene.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of the ewes.

    Mary in Oregon

  3. Hi, Gina - I'm looking forward to the story of George (I'm guessing it has a happy ending). Has anyone of your aquaintance made a lamb an indoor pet?

  4. Gina, after reading this post, I've realized just how little I still know about the lambing season. And perhaps farming in general.

    I've so enjoyed visiting here, and seeing your beautiful ceramics, your lovely reports of visits to tiny gems of Europe, and now you've given me another big part of your life in Utah.

    What a gift the internet can be, allowing us to learn so much about what life can offer in places far and not so far away, and to allow others to learn a bit about our own unique lives.

    Happy New Year!

  5. I cannot imagine!
    Guess you can't take the city out of the city girl!

  6. Dear Sonny, what a great idea you have "offer to help in advance should the occasion arise".
    We all need a little help now and then. Gina

  7. Dear Mary. Watching newly born lambs frollicking in a meadow in early Spring is just about my most favorite thing to do. Hope you take the time and share a few pictures with us.

  8. Dear Mark, Yes, the story has a happy ending. Lambs make cute little pets but they all get big and some become quite onerous. Bummers usually become a 4H project and then there are many tears when the lambs are auctioned off. Gina

  9. Dear Frances, So true. Haven't we all met so many interesting and wonderful friends. That's what keeps me blogging. Thank you for your very lovely comment. Gina

  10. Dear Ann, When you come for a visit I will make sure that you have a job (in-between painting) when we "move the sheep". Gina