First sign of Spring coming, in the middle of January. The little lambs appear on the pastures, which I love to photograph.
Little lambs are born only in spring. It is conditioned by a hormone – melatonin, which is produced by sheep at night and plays a key role in the sheep’s reproductive process. In autumn, when dusk falls outside faster, animals produce more of it, and thus become interested in individuals of the opposite sex. After autumn games and a five-month pregnancy, young lambs come into the world in spring. Off course when the lambs will born it depends on the farmer.
Looks like sheep breeding season just started in Co. Carlow. Everywhere in the pastures you can see white spots in the distance walking in groups on the grass. While I am already used to the presence of adult sheep, the little ones that have just been born recently make me take out my camera. No wonder, lambs are wonderful.
Lambing season is generally February to March in Ireland. The most common breed of sheep in Ireland is the Scottish Blackface, easily spotted due to its black head and legs – just like the famous claymation ‘Shaun the Sheep’ from the creators of ‘Wallace and Gromit.
Farmers in Ireland paint their sheep in order to keep track of which sheep belong to which farmer and/or to which field. And also they are painted for help with breeding. A permeable bag containing paint is hung underneath the neck of a ram released into a field of ewes for mating. As the ram mounts a ewe, the bag of paint leaves a mark on the back of the ewe, signalling later to the farmer which females are ready to be moved to another field.
Below photos I took just outskirt of Carlow town in the middle of January 2021, on the way to Oak Park Forest Park