A newborn lamb curls up in a holding area that is kept warm with a heat lamp, with the mother just outside the metal drum. Fall lambing season is under way on Penn State's University Park campus. More than 100 lambs will be born before the season ends this month.
A lamb gets some milk from its mother. The Dorset breed was chosen for Penn State's flock because they can produce lambs in both the spring and fall.
For research, extension and particularly for teaching, Penn State must have lambs available all year. Animal scientists use the sheep for feeding and grazing research that can be applied to all types of livestock.
Most of the flock is used to teach students in management, production and livestock-judging courses.
The Penn State sheep center includes a heated "lambing room," where newborn lambs are housed for several days to bond with their mothers. Once the lambs are feeding properly, they move to other pens.
The bulk of the flock is grazed at two University pasture tracts behind Mount Nittany Medical Center on about 100 acres of pasture.