Here on the ranch certain animals seem to become more Nancy’s concern than mine. I consider everything on the farm that’s small and cute hers and often find myself making references like, “those are Nancy’s baby lambs or Nancy’s baby ducklings”. Anyway, anything small, cute and cuddly get special preference on the homestead and lately it’s been the new baby lambs.
We raise Barbados Black-belly lambs for several reasons; first, they are considered the best meat lamb, second, they are the easiest to take care of (they shed their wool and don’t require shearing), and third, they were the cheapest lambs on Craig’s list when we were in the market for sheep. They don’t look like normal wooly lambs, but a lot like they’re related to Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.
The rams have full curl horns when they grow to maturity and they act a lot like wild deer. The fences here on the ranch have to be in perfect repair and quite a bit taller than a normal sheep fence (about six feet high). These sheep are very athletic and can really jump. But, saying all that, the new baby lambs are very cute and a whole lot of fun to watch when they start playing with their little lamb buddies.
A few months ago Nancy decided the pregnant ewes needed a better shelter to birth and care for their new babies and as a result commissioned me to build a new lambing shed. After a lot of consideration we decided the best place to construct such a structure was right in front of the house. This would make it easy for us to keep our eyes on things, but also would make it the first structure folks would see as they drove up the front drive into the yard.
For this reason we felt the design had to be in keeping with the other homestead structures and not a typical shanty looking shed. After a bit of planning I decided to build the new building out of log slabs and rap it with natural granite rock to keep the snow off the bottom four feet in winter. We are very satisfied with the way it came out and thought we’d share the design.