The Icelandic sheep are very seasonal breeders, meaning that they generally time things so that lambs arrive close to Easter. The Columbia and Hampshires, though, are nowhere near as particular - probably because they hail from Great Britain where spring comes a good deal earlier and when it does arrive, it's really not all that much different from winter ... unlike spring in Iceland ... or Canada for that matter. Regardless, the Columbia and Hampshire sheep tend to lamb earlier in the year, although they're not quite as hardy in the cold as the Icelandics are.
If we were sufficiently organized and had adequately sturdy fences, we would keep the rams away from the ewes in the fall in order to time the arrival of lambs in the spring. While we did make an attempt at this last fall, our fences proved to be inadequate barriers to the determined efforts of the rams who sensed ewes in dire need of their services and did all they could to address the situation.
The first result arrived this morning, in the midst of a (thankfully) very warm spell we've been having.
He is a lovely large ram lamb, born to our purebred Columbia ewe (the biggest sheep we have here), and it looks like he was fathered by our Southdown ram, most likely (look at that little smile, that's a very Southdown grin). He arrived some time in the night with no noise from the dogs, no fuss from the sheep, and no intervention from the humans. The Boy found him when he went out to feed the sheep this morning ... this little guy was up and walking around, chasing his mama around the pasture quite happily. That's a great way to start lambing season!
This year is an "E" year, meaning all the lambs will get names that start with E. This little one hasn't got a name yet ... please give us some name suggestions in the comments, for him, and for the others still to come!