Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What Happened in the Barn Last Night?

Of course because it was so cold last night, this morning I went out to the barn to find 3 new lambs born to 2 ewes, all still wet and obviously born minutes apart. It wasn't obvious to who was born which but my best guess is that the twins were born to the first ewe born here on our farm BellaDonna and the single born to Buttercup a 3rd generation girl of partial Jacob sheep heritage. Some of you might remember her as an Easter lamb we had born YELLOW a few years ago, named aptly by Vicki Lander from Flower Hill Farm.
It was very cold in the barn so immediately, I had to make sure everyone was dry and nursing their first drink of colostrum-so important!

BellaDonna and lambs
The twins were very small because the mother is getting older and there was no pasture after September. The drought just wiped everything out and all the pasture and forage we planted did not have the opportunity to grow. Buttercup's single had more food in the womb and would grow faster due to not having to share it's food with another. I say would because I had a plan. After watching the mothers with the lambs I was pretty sure that I was right about who belonged to whom. Buttercup was butting the smallest ewe lamb away but didn't seem as annoyed by the other one but was adverse to letting 2 lambs nurse at all. So I put the plan in action. I began by rubbing the lambs fur on to each other especially mingling the separate twins damp fur onto the single's. Then I turned the lambs on side and rubbed their umbilical cord area and their hindquarters onto Buttercup's nose. I repeated the process onto BellaDonna. Back and forth I did this and then I held Buttercup to the wall and let the smaller twins nurse from her. Then I switched the ram lamb to BellaDonna. Back and forth I mingled the smells and the lambs with the ewes. I set up a space heater in a little used room with a heated bucket for the new moms. Back and forth to the house and hydrants with buckets to fill the many buckets in the barn for the sheep flock and the duck flock and the chicken flock for the 2 Pyreness Guardians, one in and one out of the barn. Each time I would make a trip, I would start the process over. By about 3 O'clock Buttercup was feeding the twins and BellaDonna was feeding the single and then Buttercup was feeding the a twin and then the single and then another twin and by 4 she was telling the smaller of the twins to get up so she could eat. Neither ewe cared who was eating and all were having meals with great success.

BellaDonna and Buttercup

 So that was my day. I expect some more lambs tonight. Luckily we are to be blessed with some temperature increase.
Saturday we will be at Schlafly. Sorry I can't be as specific as usual with the market list however, I won't know until the snow and sleet clears tomorrow before I let you know whether our greens and radishes survived. We will have for sure some Pepper Cress, Kale, eggs and my usual amazing array of canned goods such as Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, Pickles, Pickles Hot Peppers, Apple Butter and 3 kinds of Granola. We have some lamb stew meat and Organ meat.
We'll see ya there. Bill should be in town.

God's Blessings on you and yours,


Sam and Bill

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1 comment:

An At Home Daughter said...

I was just checking our sheep yesterday, and one of our great big 2 year old commercial ewes had a small udder on her. I was soooo excited. This will be their first year having lambs. Can't wait to see what they look like (the ram is a Shetland).