Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catching up

Thursday was so warm, I let Lanora and her newborn lamb out of the jug at about 2:00 p.m. He weighed 13 lbs. So it was another big single for Lanora this year and she did it all on her own. Whew!

Mabeline and her lambs got to come out of their jug earlier in the day.
I saw that Delia was in labor so I decided to postpone the rest of my workday until after the lambs arrived. Delia chose the same spot that her mother, Mabeline, had lambed in just 24 hours earlier.

Mom checked in on her as things started progressing. Oh-oh, I noticed there was only a nose, no hooves. So I went in to check for them; they weren't far back. Delia swiftly delivered this 10 pound 3/4 BFL ram lamb (our 6th this year!).

I snapped a few photos as she licked him off. Then she hunched up and pushed for a second. I checked for a twin and this is was I saw...
I snapped the photo without really looking, from the shape of things I was thinking the lamb was breech and that I needed to open the membranes quickly before it took a breath. I broke open the sack and wiped the gunk away from her nose. I knew this one was really small. But she sputtered and let out a little baby baa! Delia came over and started licking her.

But not for long. Delia went back to big brother...
Well, Little Diamond didn't think that was a great idea, and she told me so.
Once I got organized, I put them into Lanora's empty jug and made sure the lambs found both faucets and they were working. Little Diamond can actually stand up under her mom to nurse!

What a size difference in these two! Diamond weighed only 5 lbs. at birth. But both are doing fine, running and jumping with the other lambs. I've got to rethink this whole idea of working two jobs and lambing. I just can't keep up!
I love the census job, it's fun to cruise around going to all the houses, meeting LOTS of dogs, people, cats, chickens, and geese. There's something kind of exciting about a goose coming after you -- as long as you get back to the car fast enough.

BUT, I don't get a chance to enjoy the lambs, or clean my house, or do my laundry and hang it out on the line. I couldn't even make it to the opening reception of an art exhibit I'm in until the last 15 minutes. It was a good thing there was still a crowd and plenty of wine and d'oerves (sp?) left.

And I didn't get a chance to make additional pieces to put in the show. I've got to get myself on a work schedule for producing art!

Delia and her twins left the jug this morning (Saturday). I banded them at that time and they didn't show distress at all. Usually we band tails in the evening, but this was a better time because they were so enthralled with the big beautiful world.

3 comments:

  1. My ewe with triplets all had them come out looking just like the one photo with the lamb in the bag. With her one right after the other very quickly. The ewe and I were working on drying one and two and number three was born...I quickly cleared his face, but it was too late. The other two lambs are thriving, but I keep wondering how I could have prevented losing the third. I didn't realize they were mispositioned until she was pushing and then they almost flew out of her. It is not like she was pushing a long time that I would have done in to investigate. When do you know when to check and when to leave well enough alone or is that something that you just learn over time?

    BTW I your quiche recipe has become a family favorite, thanks!

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  2. HI Kara, I never know for sure if I'm doing the "right" thing or not. In my first-ever birth assist, I had an older Shetland ewe that had only the lamb's head out - no hooves in sight. The vet figured the lamb was already dead (the water had broken over 4 hours earlier) and advised me to pull really hard and get it out. I just couldn't get it and we wound up bringing the ewe in during the middle of the night. The vet pushed the head back in and grabbed the legs and delivered a live ewe lamb! Then reached in and pulled out her big brother. After that I learned not to let another ewe deliver a head with no feet showing. And last year with Lanora, I learned how to push the head back in. Fortunately, Delia's big lamb's feet were just behind the jaw, so it didn't take much to help Delia deliver on her own.
    As for the little ones in the sack, I read that once the placental cord is broken, it signals the lamb to take a breath. If the lamb is still encased in the sack, that breath will be deadly. I often read of shepherds finding small lambs dead still in the sack. It was a good thing that you were right there and did everything you could for that triplet lamb. At least you have that comfort. We lost a large single lamb last spring when I didn't get out and check on a little yearling. I saw her walking around on the barn cam, but didn't realize the lamb's head was out (and the feet were just behind the jaw on that one too). He was 11 pounds and she couldn't get him out. I felt just awful for days (I was raised Catholic so always feel guilty), my poor ewe with NO lamb after all that work. But she was just amazing. She recuperated in a matter of days and got on with her life.

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  3. I understand what you are saying about working and being a shepherd. I NEED a housekeeper! Too much to do but it is worth it. At least your job affords you the option to stick around if you need to. You are getting the greatest pictures of birthing!! Congratulations on your new additions!

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