38LambsAs usual, the sheep have not consulted the spreadsheet. I timed lambing to start on daylight savings weekend. I estimated the earliest lambs might possibly come would today, at gestation day 142 (the range, depending on the source, would be about 140-159). I planned vacation from work starting Monday. But no! Friday morning at 5:30am when I went out to feed, I heard the little bleating of lambs and the deep lowing of a ewe. So much for catching the bus!

The first one to deliver was ADS0038, my fattest cow of a ewe ever. She had triplets, one stillborn. Again. Just like last year, I was too late to save it. Its lungs were full of fluid, probably born backwards and aspirated placental fluid before getting out to take a breath of air. Darn. Probably an easy save, if I had been there. This was a set of three mostly-white boys. The remaining two are fine. The ewe was upset about the stillborn and focusing on it, so it was good once I got it out of there, then she got down to business with the live guys.

23LambsThe second one had twins on the ground today at 5:30am, a ewe and a ram. One still kinda goopy with afterbirth. Please, let this midnight lambing trend not continue… Smile These are out of my top ewelamb from last year, KMC0023, out of JPS60224. More predominantly white, with spots and roaning. I think the Raggedy Ann triangular nose colorations are so funny!

I do enjoy finding “all done, up and nursing” lambs though- so nice when the ewes just know how to do their job, especially a first timer. All I have to do is weigh, tag, and iodine the umbilical cord; and they’re good to go. Yay for low maintenance, since there are lots to go!

These early bird lambs are usually a little small- all of these in the seven pound range. I’d like them to stay in the oven for another week and get up to more like ten pounds. It’s not a big deal, but it does reduce risk if they are a little bigger. Lambs are born with very little insulating fat, and they add it quickly in their first few days of growth from all that buttery colostrum. But in the meantime, if they are of small frame, they are vulnerable to too much heat loss. I’ll jacket them with synthetic fleece coats for a day or two if I think they are at risk. But often they are fine, once they are up and about and dried off, their coats quickly turn into waterproof slickers and they snuggle up to their dams when they are chilly.

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