Monday, April 13, 2009

Our First BFL Lamb of 2009

Well I had my first day of training for the 2010 Census job today. I'm in training all week from 8-4:30. Thankfully we had an hour lunch today so I ran home to check on Delia (a Shetland mule). She looked dropped to me this morning and her bag is pretty full.

Everyone looked fine, so I tossed in some hay and topped off their water before heading back to training about 12:45. When I got home at 4:45 I went out to feed the ewes their grain. Things get really chaotic when I dish up the grain and distribute it -- certainly no place for a newborn lamb to be.
As I brought grain outside for 10-year-old Cordelia and the two bred ewe lambs, I thought to myself that Derra's lambs sounded really upset. Then I saw Derra's lambs quietly frolicking outside. That's when I realized we had a newborn lamb.

I raced back inside and saw a little black lamb standing there bawling, quite a set of lungs on that one! He was dry, but he hadn't been licked clean. I looked for Delia. Oh-oh, her bum was clean, it wasn't hers. Then I saw Rhyn turn around to talk to the lamb and sure enough, it was hers.
Unfortunately she was way too occupied with the food and didn't follow me as I put the poor little fellow in the jug.

He's a little guy only 8.5 pounds. I thought there had to be a twin around somewhere. I searched outside but only found the placenta out in the paddock.

His mouth was cold, so I knew he hadn't nursed yet. I tried to strip her teats, but she's very sensitive and I had to get Stan to hold her. We let the lamb nurse for a bit, and I gave him 4 ounces of a lamb supplement too. She's definitely claiming him, that's good. But she's not ready to let him nurse yet. I checked his teeth for sharp points, none that I could feel. She's not engorged at all, so that shouldn't the problem. I'm going to give him some colostrum from the freezer tonight before I go to bed and hope that by morning, she's letting him nurse.

5 comments:

  1. Congrats! Hope the little guy makes it, he's such a looker, and I love his momma! :)

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  2. I hope the new mom is letting her lamb nurse by now. Is she a first-timer?

    I have a friend who's working for the Census down here. What a great job!

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  3. Congrats Becky! He's a good looking little boy! I hope he has gotten some of mom's milk!

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  4. I guess I'm not as patient or hopeful as you. When Butter was playing the first-time-mom "spinning game," I haltered her and held her so her ramling could get a good energy boost to keep trying on his own.

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  5. Thanks. I'm happy to say that all is well with mother and baby now. Rhyn is a fairly large ewe and I'm thinking I should get one of those portable head gates for cases like this. In fact, I think Stan would LOVE that. I don't like having to ask him to help me hold sheep.
    I think the census job will be fun, it's only supposed to last about 8 weeks after the training is done. So I don't want to lose my deli job. It will be a busy 8 weeks with our lambing expected to go into early June. What was I thinking letting Bo in with those Mule lambs in January???

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