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Number four!

04/30/09

Permalink 05:47:40 pm, by Karen Email , 370 words   English (US)
Categories: Journal

Number four!

One of my two-year-old first time mothers gave birth this morning to a single ewe lamb. I was so relieved to see nose and toes appearing normally after the other day when one lamb was head out with one leg folded and one leg all the way back. However, being a first-timer she was very tight and the skin just didn't want to stretch on its own. I had to keep her pinned down with my knee on her shoulder as she wanted to get up everytime I tried to help, and work the skin up and around the head while pulling on a leg (thanks again Elaine!). Once the head was out she realized the obstruction was removed, gave another strong push and out came the lamb! Then she got up and walked away. I think she was a bit confused or just wanted to get away from me. :-) Eventually she worked her way back around and found the lamb and started cleaning it.

The lamb was up on it's feet within 10 minutes and trying to suckle on anything it could find (my knees, mom's fleece, etc.). Mom is so in love with her baby though that every time the lamb heads towards the udder, she turns around to see where it went. Eventually, I tied mom to a post and got the lamb on a teat for her first drink.

I thought for sure this ewe was going to twin, as she was big as a house. However, this lamb weighs only 7lbs, and she was the only one. The ewe magically deflated.

I went out again a bit later and the lamb was trying to find the udder again, but the ewe kept turning around to see where she was going. So I pinned her against the fence and got the lamb on a teat. Then, I let them go, and they walked to the other side of the pen, and this time, the lamb found a teat on its own, and mom just turned her head to sniff the little wagging tail. Whew! She also started to pass the afterbirth, which nursing helps stimulate. So I hope they have got it all figured out now.

Sharing ideas from our small farm in NH, where we raise Icelandic sheep and assorted poultry. We are members of ISBONA (Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America) and the CLRC (Canadian Livestock Records Corporation). We also participate in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (NH54). Contact us at karen [at] birchtreefarm [dot] com. Please also visit the farm website at Birchtree Farm.
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