Stella’s Lambing — A Visual
For those of you who’re city folk, or maybe haven’t seen a live birth from an animal’s perspective, Stella has
volunteered offered up some photos of the birth of her second child in 2011, Sterling. So if yoou’re of the queasy type, I ask that you look ahead with caution as you’re going to see the nether regions of a sheep giving birth and of course the goo that comes along with it.
I looked out this afternoon, after dealing with two previous lambings of twins to see Stella push out her little ewe lamb, Sadie. I quickly grabbed Annie and ran out the door, camera in hand, hoping that she’d deliver another so we could have a little science lesson.
I knew Stella would lamb today as I was making sure the other girls were doing okay with their sets of twins and Stella kept hanging around like she wanted to join the ranks in the nursery. Sure enough, here’s her cleaning little Sadie. Notice the sack hanging from her hind-end, part of what kept Sadie well incubated for almost five months.
Notice those two little white spots there — those are the hooves of the next lamb coming along. In a normal birth, the two feet are poking out along with the tip of a nose. The hooves are so soft and pliable at this time, definitely not hard like you’d think. Thank goodness too, I can’t imagine the pain that would come along with hard hooved babies!
Stella finally lays down and gives just a few pushes to get her second lamb out, I always feel bad for the girls as they stiffen their legs and put their lip up in the air in pain. Her first born child waits patiently for the second half of her first bath. These mamas have got to do it all themselves — delivering and bathing.
She’s got his head and legs out now — next come the shoulders.
Once the lamb gets to this stage it’s all pretty quick and most of the hard work is done. He slid right out and the sack tore, allowing the lamb to breathe in oxygen. He shook his head rather quickly, as if to shake the rest of the sack loose.
She then turns to see her second lamb has arrived — a beautiful little ram lamb we’ve called Sterling. She instantly feels the need to start washing.
Stella gets up which breaks the sack further and the chord which has fed Sterling all these months (sorry to Stella, for cutting off your head in this photo… I was excited.)
Stella’s tongue moves very quickly all over her newborn son, cleaning off the remaining sack and the wetness that he has been living in. All the while, she is talking to him in a low grumble, taking in his scent and imprinting her voice in to him. They will now know who eachother is through voice and smell recognition.
It’s amazing how quickly a lamb will stand after being born — Annie had a good talk about this. I told her she couldn’t do anything after she was born, just lay there, not even roll over. She then demonstrated that she can roll over now… Over and over and over again.
Sadie and Sterling will now make their way on to their little soft hooves and start toddling toward the back of Stella where they will find her very full udders. They need that colostrum to be healthy and have strong immune systems as well as warmth and nourishment. Stella continues to clean with out stopping, often times knocking the lambs down with her force for them only to stand again, over and over. Amazing how instinctual this all is for Stella and her lambs — and how the mothering just kicks in. A smooth lambing, a great mother, and another reason why I like Jacob sheep.