The first sign of Spring comes, 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. As a matter of fact, it is produced by sheep at night. Also 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 other sex. After autumn games and a five-month pregnancy, young lambs come into the world in spring. Off course when the lambs will be born 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. They are easily spotted due to their black head and legs. Just like the famous claymation ‘Shaun the Sheep’ by 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 to help with breeding. A permeable bag containing paint is hung underneath the neck of a ram. And 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. Signaling later to the farmer which females are ready to be moved to another field.
Below are photos of Irish Lambs, which I took just outskirts of Carlow town. In the middle of January 2021, on the way to Oak Park Forest Park.