Ewes and rams make lambs.
"It's a mom-nature thing," said Dave Barr, agricultural specialist at the 1890s living-history Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, who along with other volunteers has patiently waited to oversee the arrival of this season's newborn lambs.
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With six births down and 10 to go for the Southdown sheep flock, the approximate 145 day gestation period is nearing completion of its birthing process.
"Five months and five days," Barr said.
The ewes are in lambing pens, or jugs.
"An ewe identifies her lambs by smell, so they are in there to get acquainted for a few days. It gives the ewe's mom's milk a chance to go through that lamb because the mom will identify her lambs by smell," said Barr. " ... That's how she knows that it's her lamb. She wants to raise only her lambs."
Visitors Like Debbie Dolecki of Villa Park made the trek to Kline Creek Farm to observe the lambing pens.
"I like to come here. I'm an animal and nature lover. What else are you going to do, watch TV or come out here to see nature at work?" Dolecki said.
"Sometimes mom can do everything on her own, but our staff and volunteers are at the ready this time of year to intervene if needed for a successful birth," said Keith McClow, manager of Kline Creek Farm.
"We're always ready to share the historical perspective with visitors, too, so they learn how lambs provide income for farmers and what it takes to raise them."
Visitors may observe the lambs and speak with staff and volunteers during the farm's normal hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.