Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Great LambWatch 2012

ETA:  I was originally going to close the contest on March 3rd, but I'm getting late entries and interest, so I'm reconsidering and keeping it open till March 15th.  Good luck, all!

Way back in October, when we bought Orion, we had a plan.  Ram lambs hit sexual maturity at roughly 6 months of age, give or take.  By buying a young fella and turning him in with the girls in October, we should get lambs sometime in late winter or early spring - definitely preferable to the January/February lambings I grew up with.  Those months are brutal up here, even for us humans. 
So, we bought our little Orion, who was born in early April of 2011.  Perfect.  That put him at exactly 6 months old when we brought him home.
We just did the math the other night - with a gestation period of roughly 5 months, we're looking at March 1st as the earliest possible date for lambies.
And, hey!  We just realized that March 1st is coming right up!
So LambWatch 2012 is beginning.  Since we haven't sheared yet, the girls are too fluffy to tell by looking at them if they're in the family way.  And any efforts to feel around to see if their udders are swelling are met with a sudden jump away and a look of "Hey!  That's really rude, ya know!"  So we truly have no idea where we stand in the scheme of things.
So I decided, why not have some fun?
I'm going to throw a contest - Guess the lambie birthdays and win a fabulous prize.  Well, there'll be two prizes, since we have two potential mommies.
It didn't take me long to come up with prizes, either.  One of the nice things about being a knitter is that people who love you tend to buy you knitting books.  And sometimes more than one person finds you the perfect knitting book.  So I've got a couple of duplicates, and I figured I'd share the wealth.

Prize A:  Selbuvotter  by Terri Shea
Prize B:  Folk Bags  by Vicki Square

I know!  Great prizes, right?

So, here's Da Cluez:

Ram lambs (supposedly) reach sexual maturity at 6 months.  Roughly.  The complicating factor is that Shetlands are very private about their hanky-panky and only do things when no one is looking.  So we have no idea what, if anything, he might have gotten up to.
These pictures of Orion were taken today.  Does he look like a Big Boy to you?

(That's Merlin on the right.  He's definitely not pregnant.  Don't guess for him.)

And here are the girls:
 Onyx, our formerly black ewe.  She's two, about to turn three.  She's never had a lamb before.  We don't know if she would even accept Orion's advances if he made them.  She could very well have slapped his face and said "What the hell do you think you're doing!?!"

 And Goldie.  We have no idea how old she is - probably 7 or 8.  Or 9.  She's had lambs in the past, so she knows the score.

And here's a picture of Onyx's butt, so you can see what I mean about not being able to tell by looking.  Is it fluff?  Is it lamb?  Is it too much hay?

Da Roolz:

Pick a date, any date.  Actually, pick 2 dates - one for Goldie and one for Onyx.  The earliest possible date is roughly March 1st.  If you think Orion got right down to business, guess early.  If you think his maturity is tied to his intelligence (Honestly, he's cute, but dumber than a box of rocks.  Sort of like the Barbie doll of rams.)  you should guess later.  (Dumb.  We might be talking August...)
State your dates in the comments of this post and this post only.   Don't email me with a guess, it won't count.   This post only.   Each person gets one guess for each sheep. 
Check the dates that other people have guessed.  Once a date has been claimed, that person owns that date for that sheep.  (Example:  Someone guesses Onyx March 10.  That date would be closed for Onyx.  You could still guess Goldie for March 10, but only if no one else has already taken Goldie for that date.)  I'll try to stay on top of things and keep a running list at the end of this post, to make it easier to keep track of which dates are already taken.
The winner will be the one who comes closest to the correct date.  The date will be determined by when we get up in the morning and say "Hey!  There's a lamb out there!"
In the event of a tie (ie:  the lamb is born smack dab between two people's guesses), I'll flip a coin or something - the winner will get the book and the other person will get some other fabulous prize that I'm sure I'll think of any minute now.
First winner gets first choice of the books, second winner gets the other book.
I'll close the entries at midnight of March 3rd.  Or when the first lamb is born, whichever comes first.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments, or feel free to email me.

So, go out and tell all your friends.  If there's enough interest, maybe I'll do this every year...

Good luck, everyone!

March 1 - (closed)    Goldie - Erika               Onyx - Erika
March 2 -                                                      Onyx - Alison
March 5 - (closed)    Goldie - BeckyinVT      Onyx - Angie
March 7 -                  Goldie - Angie             
March 10-                 Goldie - Goldilox
March 11 - (closed)  Goldie - Kitsune           Onyx - Kitsune
March 13-                Goldie - Mary
March 12 - (closed)  Goldie - Laurie             Onyx -  Constance Blizzard
March 15 - (closed)  Goldie - MissouriStar   Onyx - MissouriStar
March 16 - (closed)  Goldie - Judy               Onyx - kmkat
March 17 - (closed)  Goldie -Stacey             Onyx - Laurie
March 18 -               Goldie - Cookie           Onyx - Helen M-H
March 19 -  (closed)  Goldie - kmkat            Onyx - Goldilox
March 21 -  (closed)  Goldie - maia               Onyx - Jen
March 22 -                                                   Onyx - Mary
March 23 - (closed)  Goldie - Andrea           Onyx - BeckyinVT
March 24 - (closed)  Goldie - Sara               Onyx - Sara
March 25 - (closed)  Goldie - Michelle          Onyx - Michelle
March 27 - (closed)  Goldie -Bullwinkle        Onyx - Bullwinkle
March 31 -  (closed)  Goldie - Alison             Onyx - maia
April 1 -    (closed)    Goldie - Helen M-H     Onyx - Judy
April 5 -                   Goldie - Constance Blizzard
April 15 -   (closed)  Goldie - Wind               Onyx - Wind
April 18 -                 Goldie - Jen
April 20 -                                                      Onyx - Andrea
April 25 -                                                      Onyx - Cookie
April 29 -  (closed)  Goldie - Chantelle           Onyx - Chantelle
May 1 -                                                         Onyx - Stacey


Michelle said...

This is the best guessing game ever! I'm gonna say March 25 for both of them- it's MY birthday. Hey, if it produced ME, you'll probably get some awesome lambs out of it.

Missouristar said...

I claim March 15th for both. OK, the Ides of March were not lucky for everyone, but maybe they will be for me.

Angie said...

I'm claiming March 7 for Goldie and March 5 for Onyx. Good lucy for all!

Kitsune said...

I'm going to say the 11th for both of them.

Judy said...

This is fun! March the 16 for Goldie and the 1st of April for Onyx.

Andrea said...

I'm not a betting person, but somehow this makes it more interesting. So I'm going to guess March 23 for Goldie and April 20 for Onyx

Bullwinkle said...

I'm guessing March 27th for both. It's my mom's birthday :) It's a good day.

Erika said...

I'm guessing early, because sheep are randy little things! I'll claim March 1 for both of them!

Stacey said...

I say Goldie will have her lamb on March 17th, the same day as my grandmother Goldie's birthday.
Onyx will have a lamb May 1st.

kmkat said...

What? No one has taken St. Paddy's Day? I pick Goldie for March 17 and Onyx for March 16 (St. Urhu's Day).

This is the best contest EVAH!

Alison said...

Dammit! I wanted my birthday (March 1) for both.. but it's taken...

In that case, I'm going as near as I can get (March 2) for Onyx, and March 31 (my parents' wedding anniversary) for Goldie...

BeckyinVT said...

I'm going to guess Goldie on March 5th (she does look a little rounder than Onyx) and I'll say Onyx is due on March 23rd.

Yay lambs!

Cookie said...

March 18th for Goldie. April 25 for Onyx. This is all assuming that he can figure out what to do. Since he's a Shetland ram, that's assuming a lot. ;^)

Constance Blizzard said...

It's a tough one-- does Onyx put out early, even though she's new to the game? Will she really settle for sloppy seconds? I'm going to say she gives it first:

Onyx: March 12
Goldie: April 5

Go girls!

Laurie said...

Goldie March 12. Onyx March 17. God only knows.

goldilox said...

For me, Goldie has got to be March 10th (my birthday), and we'll give Onyx March 19th (hubbies' birthday).

Maia said...

What fun! I am going to guess March 21 for Goldie. She looks like a sweet girl. Onyx looks like she held out longer, so I'll guess March 31.

Anonymous said...

Onyx - March 18
Goldie - April 1
Someone's a joker.

Helen M-H

Chantelle said...

Oh, what fun! I'll guess April 29th for both of them... that seems to be a lucky day for me. When I was younger we had a mare that was due on April 1st and as soon as I found that out, I told my mom that it would be a birthday gift for me (my birthday is April 30th). She told me that there was no way that it would be that late, and it wasn't... quite. It was born April 29!

Mary said...

I guessing March 13th for Goldie and March 22nd for Onyx. Thanks for extending the cut off date :)

Sara said...

We all pick our birthday's, right?
SO March 24th for both of them. You don't have that date in your list at all. So I hope it works. Thanks for the fun!

Wind said...

Can family members enter? If so, I'll go with April 15th for both them. I mean, SOMETHING good has to happen on the 15th, right?

Jen said...

Onyx - March 21st and Goldie - April 18th.

Good luck everyone! (and easy deliveries for our woolie friends:))