Vanessa Wahl holds a day-old ram at Waverider Farm. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Sure-footed signs of spring at WaveRider Farm

On WaveRider Farm, the surest signs of spring arrive on all fours.

Hobby farmers Vanessa and Dave Wahl recently welcomed 13 spring lambs, 10 of them rams, to their flock of partly East Friesian and Icelandic sheep in Tlell.

Even at just one day old, the youngest two — twin rams born to an ewe named Sleepy — could run their gangly legs up and down a hillside pasture.

“In the mornings they’ll jump and kick their feet,” said Vanessa.

But like all sheep, she said even newborns quickly turn to their life’s business.

“They just settle into eating.”

Dave said he and Vanessa knew nothing at all about sheep seven years ago, when they agreed to buy their first ones from fellow Tlellian Adolph Bitterlich.

“We had no fence, we had no plan, we had no idea how to raise sheep,” said Dave.

“Then we had two months to figure it out.”

As of this spring, a total of 68 lambs have been born at WaveRider Farm. Down the road, they would like to sell some of their wool on island, and maybe some manure, too.

“The way they produce manure that’s useful, and wool and meat and milk — they’re really amazing animals,” said Dave, adding that raising sheep also happens to be great exercise.

“It’s all carrying stuff.”

They can’t keep the rams because they’re related to the others on the farm, said Dave, “But they’ll have a heck of a nice summer here.”

Given that ewes tend to have their young at a very regular schedule — usually around 145 days — Dave said they will try as best they can to schedule all of next year’s lambs for Spring Break.

“Once you know the number for a particular ewe, it tends to be consistent year to year,” he said.

“But some of them are very secretive, and don’t let us see when they mate,” he added, laughing.

“Others do it for like a weekend straight and it’s obvious to everyone driving by on the highway.”

 

Sleepy keeps an eye out for her first two lambs. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Just Posted

Sk’aadgaa Naay slips in Fraser Institute elementary school rankings

The school stayed at a rating of 5, but slipped to 694th rank in 2017/18

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients to drop by 31 per cent: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Arts funding for Haida Gwaii and Rupert societies

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice announced $320,643 in funding from the BC Arts Council Grant

North Coast social worker advocated for behaviour analysis service

Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert received the new service last year

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read