The Process of Lambing – Continued
If you’re coming in on this story and haven’t read the first installment, please go do so now and then come back. And I’ll give the same warning I gave in the first, if you get queasy about a sheep’s nether regions, amniotic fluid and goo, then please go read something that won’t make you upset in the stomach. This is the full blown chronicling of a sheep’s birth.
I woke up early this morning to finish this story as I knew that some of my readers were getting a little itchy. You all don’t think she had a Belted Galloway? Well… Maybe you’re right, but hername is “Beltie.”
And Beltie’s little entrance in the world had the biggest audience though Lilly was fine during the whole thing! They had two people (kid included), two dogs – one being about 120lbs, the other a wannabe border collie; and two bottle lambs! It was quite a scene, thankfully Lilly is so so calm. I cannot tell you how even-keel she is.
What amazes me is the mothering instincts that these sheep have. The lamb just came out and no sooner did the lamb’s hind end come out that Lilly started to stand and turn to wash. And she made sure that she did a good job.
At this moment of washing, Lilly is getting this lamb’s scent in to her mind so she can know who her child is amongst all the bouncing spotted babies in the field. The bonding is quick and quite strong. Meanwhile Beltie’s first attempt to stand is within minutes of being born.
And the drive for that babie to nurse is very strong as well. She is programmed to get that colostrum in to her as quickly as possible. It is essential to a newborn baby of any type as it is the powerhouse food that keeps the immune system strong and has everything that baby needs for the first few days of life.
Oh! What’s that? I think I see another little slipper trying to come out… We’ve got twins!
“Don’t worry mama, you go ahead and have your babies, I’ll stay right here in case somebody dangerous comes along.”
Abby does guard the newborn babies. The neat thing about her is she keeps her distance, not wanting to worry the new mamas and get a bop from a horned ewe. She’s very vigilant though, we’ve lucked out on a really good dog.
Meanwhile, Lilly has laid back down to push and look, is still cleaning her firstborn.
She gets back up to reposition and I see the little white slippers again… and a nose, and a tongue!
“Hi! I’m your big sister! Come on out, it’s not so bad.”
Lilly lies down one more time, talking all the while to Beltie while she pushes.
The head is almost all the way through.
She’s so zeroed in on the new lamb and feels the need to clean, that she starts to stand before the baby is all the way out.
We all gasp at the stand and turn maneuver but it assures that the umbellical chord has broken! And here comes the beginning of the after-birth.
Can you imagine? Labor pains, clean, nurse… all at the same time. That’s a dedicated mom.
And thus, Beltie’s sister Rose enters the scene, a little sandy but mama will fix her right up.
I headed into the house to feed my child her lunch and knew that all was safe for the two new lambs.
I hope you enjoyed the live lambing!