Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When you speak to soon....

Sometimes you can become overwhelmed. As happened to me today. After my initial post I went off to do some volunteer work at an organic garden/teaching center. However---since this is the week before their semi-annual organic plant sale---they were inundated with volunteers. After spending just a portion of time their that I was suppose to I told them politely that "I have some ewes due to lamb and since there are so many people I will just go ahead and leave a bit sooner". No problem was their reply.

So off to home I went, thinking maybe,just maybe one ewe might (might is the operative word) have her lamb today.
As I drive up I count sheep and 2 are missing. I get out and go to the barn and their they are both looking at me from the back. "girls, what trouble are you getting into down there" I ask them as one runs past me. Oh nothing----except having a lamb. My white ewe El was down there with a cute little white ram lamb. So into a pen I put her. Get water. Give him a quick scrub with a towel just to make sure he's dry (cool wind today here) and go in to eat a sandwich.

Well, after my sandwich I walk out to get the mail and Secret looks rather suspicious down in the pasture----she was the ewe in the barn with El earlier.
Sure enough---she's lambing too. Out in the pasture of course with the cool wind blowing around. I watch for a while and then eventually notice some yellow fluid leaking out. Yellow means the lamb may be in distress---so in with my midwife skills I step and help to pull the largest lamb ever born on my farm out of this poor ewe. We haven't weighed it yet----but I will tell you tomorrow if I am wrong and it is NOT at least 12 pounds. This lamb is as big as my first born set of twins. Seriously. It's a she---and she's a beauty though. I think she's a white lamb with odd pheomelanin splotches. However---she could be a moorit spotted but I really don't think so since her skin doesn't look tannish (or brown) that I can tell. Her pheomelanin is an odd taupe color though instead of the more common golden or reddish yellow color.
Since her dam has great big teats (like a cow not like a sheep) we are calling her Secret's calf because of her size. Heaven's sake---big lamb.

So...I get them in the barn and settled in. I take all my towels and my very dirty clothes and throw them in the wash and change into a clean set. My last ewe to lamb looked ...mmmm...odd as Secret was lambing so I feel the need to check on her now.
No sooner than I walk up to her and up she gets from the ground with back lamb legs hanging out. Bummer. My first thought is dead lamb. However I need to help her get it out, and fast, since maybe it might still live. Too (the sheeps name is Too) getting a bit uptight about this lambing thing, decides to be a brat. I have to kind of wait until she lays to push and sneak up to her. As I get there I take hold of the legs and pull with her contraction as gently---but quickly---as I can. Out comes a small horned moorit gray ram lamb (Not another ram lamb I am thinking!! At least he's cute) I hold him upside down and help the fluid drain and he starts breathing. Good.
Then Too lays back down and woosh---out pops a small black gray mouflon ewe lamb for good measure. (By the way---this is the yearling I blogged about that I said I thought she might have twins)
The ewe lamb, having been stuck in there a bit longer than she was suppose to was a bit weaker. Though she isn't on deaths door, we are helping her out a bit and hopefully she will make it. As small as she is (about 3 pounds) plus the being stuck behind a lamb that might have held things up by coming backwards has made her a bit tired. So we have and will tube her a bit, give her a few glucose shots and hopefully she will respond well and thrive. She is not giving up---she walks and tries to nurse---however she is a bit weaker and slower which when your 3 pounds can be a not very good thing. In two days we will know if she will make it or not.

So to say the least: I didn't get dinner made tonight.

Here are pictures of the first two lambs. First picture is El's ram lamb. Other two are Secret's oddly colored ewe lamb. I don't have pics yet of the small twins. Tomorrow maybe. Wish me luck :-)

1 comment:

Robbyn said...

Wow, what a day for all! congratulations on the lambs :)