A Double Bummer
What a wild, wacky and woolly weekend. It started off with a bang when our white ewe, Stephanie (why not have a white, when you already have a black?), gave birth to bouncing baby girls. Both are black and white, both are healthy and happy. Brittany, however, prefers her biological mom while Jennifer prefers… her Aunt Maud. Yep, Maud stole a baby lamb.
The relationship started out fairly innocent, and this is what they all looked like on Saturday, the day after the lambs were born.
I normally let the sheep tell me if they’re going to lamb, and normally they do. For instance, Sophia begged to be let inside while it rained and promptly gave birth to two bouncing baby boys. Stephanie, spit her second girl out the moment I opened the stall door on Friday. I let her clean them both off and then moved the happy family to a jug, which is a 12×12 horse stall closed off. As I let all the other sheep out, Maud insisted on staying with Stephanie. I thought, “Okay, you must be thinking about lambing today.” And being that it was stormy outside, I didn’t blame her for wanting to be in. The only thing was, she insisted on being with Stephanie in the stall. I foolishly let her. By the time Saturday rolled around, I let them out as the weather had let up and it would be good to get some fresh air. I then noticed that Maud had taken quite a liking to Jennifer. I also noticed that she had a weird behavior toward her and actually started separating her from Stephanie. Stephanie would nurse both right off, but then I noticed Maud nursing Jennifer only. What an ordeal! So, I tried separating them and then noticed Stephanie rejecting Jennifer and then Maud in a total frenzy not being able to be with her new adopted daughter… So I foolishly let them back together. I’m telling this story in total honesty hoping someone will read it and not make the same mistakes. As it turns out, Maud didn’t even lamb on Saturday or even Sunday but waited until Monday morning! I just new she was going to do it Friday but obviously she held out.
As I walked in on Monday morning, I watched her push out her first… a black and white ewe! Then after she cleaned her up, I saw her lay down again and push out another black and white ewe! How exciting! I helped clean them up, tied off the umbilical chords and then went about spot cleaning all the stalls. As I came back, I noticed Maud was in a bit of a frenzy as to who was supposed to eat. I witnessed both new lambs eat, but Maud didn’t seem to pleased with the situation. By Monday night, it was obvious both new lambs weren’t getting enough and Maud had turned from confused to upset. She started butting the lighter colored ewe lambs pretty forcefully. So I took on the forceful Shepherdess role and grabbed those two handles known as horns and forced her to stand still and nurse the babies. It worked fine but by Tuesday morning, I had to do it again. And now, Tuesday night, this is what you’ll find in my kitchen.
Both girls (Edna is the dark one, Hazel is the light one), have received a dose of Lamb Strength and some colostrum from a tube. Edna has started drinking from a bottle fairly well while Hazel is still wondering what this latex nipple is doing in her mouth. Maud is up at the barn content with taking care of someone else’s baby and Stephanie is enjoying the freedom of only having one lamb to raise.
Maud and Jennifer, Saturday afternoon.
The moral of the story is, don’t allow a ewe to keep another lambing ewe company, no matter what they tell you.
And though I am feeding two little ewe lambs with the bottle, I am grateful for a list of things:
- They’re ewes and not rams who end up in the freezer.
- We’ve had 9 lambs total since Friday.
- Stephanie had two ewes.
- Celeste had a ewe and a ram, both lilacs.
- Violet was smart enough to let herself in to the barn, go in a clean strawed stall and deliver her babies on a stormy Sunday while we were at church. She had two black and white rams, four horned.
- Maud had two beautiful little baby ewe lambs, of which I get to bond with and Annie will help take care of.
- Stella had a gorgeous little ram lamb, lilac four horn.
- Lou Ellen delivered both her boys this afternoon in front of my eyes, both lilacs and both four horned.
Not bad… busy, but not bad.
Oh, and Sophia’s ram lambs, they’ve got me… Especially Wyatt. Can’t you see why? 😉
Wyatt up front, Louis IV in back.