Thursday, April 22, 2010

Twin Ewe lambs from Hannah


After a long night and an equally long day of watching and checking on poor hugely pregnant Hannah, twin ewe lambs were born last evening. One was born about 6:15 (about 15 minutes after talking with a vet on the phone) and the other about 8:45 (again about 15 minutes after talking with the vet).

The worry watch started when I saw that suddenly Hannah's bag had swelled up like a water balloon and was very warm.  I checked on her through the night every 2 hours.  She stayed inside the pole building so I knew she was close. 

Yesterday morning she was noisy and uncomfortable, bellowing from inside the barn. Not a happy girl at all.  I kept watching her and although she was quite uncomfortable, I couldn't see any regular contractions starting up and no water bag.  One or two possible contractions, but nothing definite.  Usually my girls lave their lambs out within an hour of acting this way. By late afternoon with still no sign of a water bag, I started worrying that a lamb could be laying crossways and keeping her from going into 2nd stage labor. So that's when I called the vet. He said to give her more time as long as I wasn't seeing any bloody discharge.

I went in to make chili for supper and when I checked the barn cam, there was Hannah licking off a lamb!  I never did see her have contractions.
I am happy to say that Hannah filled my order for a moorit lamb, and she even made it a ewe lamb and added a krunet!  This little lamb was normal sized, and there was no placental cord hanging out from Hannah so I was sure there would be at least one more lamb to come.  Hannah licked and licked the moorit, fed her and didn't have any more contractions for over two hours.  The moorit was cleaned off, well fed, jumping and frolicking and still no sign of baby number two. Hannah decided to eat a little hay and get a drink of water, so that's when I called the vet back.  He said that Hannah just seemed to be taking things slow this time around and to just let her be, not to go in looking for number two, which was fine by me.  So within minutes of getting that advice, I see a big clear water bag emerge and eventually some hooves.  Then Hannah laid down and a BIG twin sister was born.  I had to help get her shoulders and body out.

It is totally amazing to me that those lambs are so programmed to nurse immediately on exit from the womb. This big girl connected with the teat before even standing up for the first time.  Hannah has a lot of milk.  I had to get a flashlight to make sure it was another ewe lamb.  It was dark in the barn by time she was born and being black didn't help much.

This morning all is well, but my camera batteries died after I got this shot. I've still got to weigh them.

8 comments:

  1. Congrats on your pretty pair! So glad that Hannah lambed on her own. Isn't it the best sight in the whole world when you find that little lamb already born. Especially when you've worried and fretted all day on where everything was going 'normally'.
    Tammy

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  2. Dolce did that to me once: waited hours to have her second lamb.
    So glad everything worked out well and you got two precious ewe lambs!

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  3. Aaahhh! Cute! I bet Hannah is relieved to not have the "wide load" anymore! Congrats!

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  4. Yes, it's nice to see a svelt Hannah again. Her lambs weighed 6.5 lbs and 8 lbs. this morning. (I finally realized that the lamb sling weighs about 8 oz. so I have to take a 1/2 lb off all my other 2010 lamb weights so far. Oops! Only two more pregnant ewes to go now.

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  5. Congratulations on two new EWE LAMBS! I just don't know why you worry about those 'about to give birth ewes' so much, Becky! We all know that they do just fine by themselves....


    ;-)

    Said the Shepherdess with the vet's phone number on speed dial when Alice is close to lambing!

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  6. My gosh Becky I don't think I've ever seen a ewe that wide before! I assumed you had bred her to a BFL before I got to the lamb photos (they're adorable!) Glad everything turned out okay, I'll be that was a relief for both you and Hannah!

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  7. LOL Nancy! Actually Hannah's dam, Bramble Hetty, had triplets for Julie Guliette and she didn't go into 2nd stage labor. Julie had to have the vet out to pull all three, which fortunately she did it in time so they all were fine. After I heard that story I worried so much about Hetty when she lambed here and it's still on my mind with her daughters.

    I know Juliann! Hannah and her sister Hattie look like Texels even when they're not bred. I've got to cut back on the ewe flock's groceries once the lambs are weaned. But Hannah's looking and felling much better now.

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  8. That really was a wide load. I would have worries too. Glad you got the girl you wanted.

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