Last year the first one lamb at Middleton Place was born April 7th so I was somewhat surprised when I stopped by on Monday, March 14th and was told “any day now.” I didn’t get back until Thursday, to find a single had been born on Tuesday and a set of twins arrived just that morning.
The twins were finishing up feeding when I got there and almost immediately collapsed into sleep.
The older one was more adventurous, spending some time under the shelter.
Then she checked out her new mates.
I look forward to photographing them as they grow, and hopefully in better light.
The twins having a look around.
Middleton Place BarnYard, Charleston, SC
March 17, 2022
I’ve made numerous trips to see the sheep at Middleton Place over the last couple weeks, looking forward to the arrival of some lambs. April 5th was the official day the barnyard workers were giving for the four pregnant sheep in their care to deliver.
Finally, on April 9th, I found three lambs: one had been born on April 7th, and a set of twins had been born that morning.
The three lambs were pretty active and getting them all in one shot wasn’t happening. Notice the extra curly textured coat on the lamb on the right.
The families have been given a pen of their own, where they’ll stay for a few weeks. The rest of the flock spends nights in the pen on the left and days free-roaming the property; the Cashmere Goats are to the right.
The little ones mostly followed their own mother, legs a bit wobbly.
They were also a bit curious about the humans watching them.
The Sheep bolted for the barnyard after the Sheep-pede and seeing the pressure washer. Their caretaker went back to the barn, too, for some grain. Clearly the group was won over and towards their pen they trooped.
Except these two that stayed behind cleaning up some grain that got spilt by the group leaders.
The shepherd continued to call and one of the two wanted to be with the group more than he wanted a snack.
The final hold out was determined to do a thorough job.
A low key stampede, but these sheep were on a mission.
As part of their Heritage Breeds program Middleton Place maintains a herd of Gulf Coast Sheep that roam the grounds freely during the day.
Herd of Sheep
Every afternoon the animal staff go through a process of securing the animals for the night.
Herd of Sheep – Getting Closer, Me not ready with 100-400 mm lens!
The sheep know the routine and easily headed towards their enclosure when it was their turn.
Herd of Sheep
They got a surprise when they got closer to their nighttime quarters and decided they would mill around rather than go by a pressure-washer that a worker had been using to clean fence that evidently hadn’t been there when they left that morning.
Middleton Place has a flock of sheep that roam the main grounds keeping them manicured. Weighted gates that close automatically behind the tourists allow foot traffic into the central green of the plantation and keep the sheep from escaping.
The sheep are looking scraggly as we head into winter; they will be shorn in the spring after lambs are born.
Belgian Horses are another heritage breed raised at Middleton Place. They provide carriage rides for visitors around the plantation grounds and are ignored by the sheep as they graze.
“A National Historic Landmark, home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America and an enduring, vibrant, and essential part of the Charleston and American experience.”