The second ewe due to lamb did her job on Sunday, phew! I swung through the barn in the morning to feed, and everything looked boring. I checked one more time mid-morning, nothing. I went in a few hours later to use the saw, and there she was, cleaning off her second lamb. Everything under control.

She had twins, a ewe and a ram. The ram was second-born, and was whining from the first minutes of being born. I had a meeting to attend in the evening, so was watching them, deciding if I could go, or if any intervention was needed. The ram lamb was up on his feet quick enough, but kept wandering around, continuing to whine. Really whining. Not crying or whimpering, like a lamb in pain or discomfort would do. But whining, like complaining. I felt his tummy, but it was unclear whether he was full or not. I saw him attempt to nurse, but couldn’t confirm he’d gotten it down. And he just kept whining. Eraserhead-type whining. His voice was grating my nerves.

As my departure time got closer, I got concerned about whether he would get colostrum in time. So, I tethered the ewe, milked out two ounces, transferred them to a bottle, and bottle fed him. He was not thrilled, fought it the whole time, meaning who knows how much he ingested? But, at least it was something. I went to get ready for my meeting. When I checked on him one last time, his belly was hugely, ridiculously full. So, he’d clearly fed, and was fine; no need for me to worry. It always goes that way when you need to leave, a big battle of are you fine, or aren’t you? If I had no deadline, I would have just checked in every few hours, and not gotten concerned until the eight-hour mark, after which (roughly) colostrum is less effective at injecting immunity into the lamb. It turns out, this lamb is just very vocal, and has a very whiney voice. I continue to be annoyed by his Eraserhead complaints, despite his robust health.

The other ewes are very keen on observing newborns, since theirs are yet to come. #33, the main granny (baby stealer) issue I have, is next door. She’s not paying attention at the moment. But these two brown blazes poking their noses through the gate are her daughter and granddaughter (the latter of which has never lambed before, she’s yet to be a yearling). Apparently grannies-in-the-making, with very strong maternal instincts. This is why I have them fenced, to give this ewe and her lambs a chance to bond privately, without intervention from wannabe mamas and curious observers swirling around in the scent pool of the newborns.

But because my ewes are generally good mothers, I don’t need to leave them long in a jug, even in these close quarters in the barn. I turned this ewe out Monday morning with the group, and there was no confusion.

Some say, if you see a lamb stand up and stretch after a nap, you know it’s well-fed. Versus, a hungry lamb will get up from a nap crying and immediately seeking milk, no time for casual stretching. In the above photo, you can see this lamb stretching her tail as she rises.

These lambs are pretty leggy and tall! A lot of running gear there! This, and their solid white markings, gives me a good guess about whom their sire is. But, I don’t know for sure. Same with the last pair that was born. I’ll sell the ewes as 50% recorded commercial ewes; and the rams will likely just go into the butcher channel. I already know which buyers will be chomping at the bit for early butcher lambs mid-summer.

Advertisements