Today is the end of lambing season. The last two ewes, 1217 and 1203 blessed us with 4 more lambs. The final result is 14; 5 ewes and 9 rams. Rambo did a good job this year.
The small pasture has turned into a noisy daycare center. Little lambs are bouncing around everywhere making baby lamb noises, playing, following their moms around, and eating.
1217 had the only two white lambs. One ewe and one ram.
1203 surprised us after lunch with 2 little red rams.
The next - and last of the season - babies will be Alita's goat kid(s). It could happen any day now.
The milking stand is ready. The farmer is anxious and a little scared...
Julia became a mom today
Driving home from the airport this morning, I got a call - "Julia is in trouble, get out here fast!" So, off I went in my travel clothes and dress boots, not stopping to change into my 'farm' clothes, for fear that Julia needed me. I got there, and changed into some spare rubber boots and pulled an old tattered coverall over my good clothes. By the time I got up the hill to see what was going on, Julia was making motherly sheep noises and licking her new baby boy. She only had one, and he was HUGE! He was nearly as big as the first set of two week old lambs, and he was spotted black and white. No signs of red from is Katahdin dad. Julia is a bit skittish, and wouldn't let us get close to her without running away. She is the one I have been most curious about, wondering what her lamb would look like, being a Dorper/ Katahdin cross, and whether she would adapt to motherhood. She seemed to take to it just fine. Of course she decided to give birth in the briar and vine patch. We wanted to put them in the lambing pen for the night, but decided to give them some space and time to bond for a few hours. Later in the day, still in the same viney spot, we picked up the lamb, holding it low so she could see it, and she followed anxiously into the lambing pen, safe for the night.
Two sheep had lambs today. Baby Mama, and a brown sheep, #1214.
Baby Mama had two strong healthy ewes, both red with white markings. One looks like a herford cow with a red body and white face.
Second was 1214 with one red ram and one red ewe. They were weak, especially the little ewe. She had wobbly back legs and trouble standing up. She was having trouble nursing, so we supplemented her throughout the day with a bottle of colostrum. By evening, she was getting stronger.
The triplets are still doing fine. Old Nag was off her food for a day, so we gave her a dose of Calcium drench. Being older and having triplets makes her at higher risk for 'milk fever.' In simple terms, that's a calcium deficiency in mother sheep and goats that can be very serious. She was eating better today and so far no other symptoms. Better safe than sorry, and most of us girls can use a little extra calcium.
And then came more snow...
Triplets! No wonder her belly was nearly dragging the ground. Saturday morning we arrived to find three tiny ram lambs with Old Nag. Old Nag, as we call her, is the oldest of the herd. She was a triplet herself and is in her eighth year, born in 2006. Aside from her two ewe daughters from 2013, she is our only registered ewe.
The three little boys are very tiny compared to 1118's born last week. One of the little boys was noticeably larger and heavier than the other two. We will watch the little family closely, feed her well and keep them in the lambing pen for a few days until they are stronger and this cold spell passes. Soon after they were born we gave them each a dose of nutra-drench for added nutrition. Sometimes the mother doesn't have enough milk to feed three lambs, so we may have to intervene. So far, they are all taking turns nursing and seem to be doing ok.
You know its Spring when the Easter Lillys are in bloom. The chickens were enjoying today's warm sunshine too.
There is no doubt, Alita is definitely pregnant. Her udder looked significantly larger today. She is so modest, I had to chase her around and sneak up behind her to take a picture. Till that foot started itching...nice view!
It was time for the lambs and mama 1118 to come out of the lambing pen and join the herd. At first the old girls were curious, and the babies were confused. They tried nursing on the other ewes, but that didnt go over very well. Mama head butted a few of them when they got too close to her babies. Finally, she led them out of the crowd. She is a good mom.
Saturday (3/15) morning we were greeted by two tiny additions to the herd. 1118 decided not to wait for us, and gave birth to a little ram and a little ewe. It appeared that one of the stitches broke allowing them through. And, miraculously, her uterus was also intact. Mother Nature worked her magic. We lured the three of them into the lambing pen that was prepared for them, removed her stitches and cleaned her behind with betadine. The lambs umbilical cords were soaked in betadine too. They will need their first vaccination and ear tags soon. The lambs were already clean and dry, and both were nursing well. It looks like 1118 is going to be a good mother.
Old nag is showing all the early signs. Her belly has dropped and she is separating herself from the herd. She walks like its taking all the energy she has to get there.
Connor and I put her in the second lambing pen just to be safe. If she delivers tonight, at least it will be in a clean dry pen out of the snow. She was hanging around the barn like she wanted to go in anyway.
Snow again. REALLY???
If you look really close, you can see the signs. Spring has sprung :)
Buds on the baby blueberry plants
Frog eggs in the pond
Green grass peeking through the brown
Buds on the trees
Yea for Spring!
My name is Christy Franklin.