Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Babies Part 2

After lambing kicked off Tuesday with a kitchen lamb, I was thrilled to look down through the woods on Friday and see a lovely Tunis cross ewe nursing a little red lamb.  The lamb was up, partially cleaned off and had a full belly. That made me happy!
I did want to move the two of them up to the stable as I like to keep a ewe and lamb locked up safely for a few days as they bond and mama gets her own food, water, peace and quiet.

Because of which pasture this sheep lives in, I had to move another pasture-full of sheep, move two dogs and open a fair number of gates before I could get her and her lamb into the stable.  The entire trip out of the woods was a long one as I did it holding the lamb at mama's nose level while slowly walking up the hill and hoping she would follow.  She would bawl, the lamb would answer and she would come a few more steps.  Then she would change her mind and trot back down the hill acting as if she was searching for her lamb.  I had to turn around, carry the lamb down the hill and start again.  I was quite relieved when I finally was able to shut them in a stall and go for fresh hay and water.

Saturday afternoon I noticed that Regina, our oldest Anatolian Shepherd, was half way down the pasture with a sheep.  I knew something was up.
It was a lovely day so we left the ewe to spend a little extra time with her ewe lamb.  One of the Dexters was quite interested in the process.

So by the end of Saturday we had a little ram lamb in the kitchen and two ewe lambs on mamas in the stable.  Little did we know that Sunday would get rather interesting.  And I will address that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Catching up on Babies, Part 1

What a crazy last few days.  On Tuesday, the 5th, I went outside to do the normal morning egg collecting.  I usually walk down to a small building in one of the sheep pastures by myself as the nesting box in it is low to the ground and if I let one of the dogs walk with me they race ahead and eat the eggs.  For some reason, I let Gwen, one of the Anatolians, walk with me.  She trotted off toward the building as I was distracted by the sheep gathering around me.  I saw her head to the box so yelled.  She did not stop but she did not stick her nose in a nest.  Instead, she began to snoop around the back of the box.  I caught up with her quickly as I was curious as to what had distracted her.  This is what I found.
I rescued the little lamb and set it out on the ground thinking its mother would reclaim it.  At that point no ewes were acting distressed as though they'd lost a lamb but I was hoping seeing it and hearing it cry would bring out a little maternal instinct.
There were no takers.
After examining a few of the ewes, I decided that Mo had delivered the lamb so I took Mo and the lamb into a stall in the stable in the hopes they would bond.  Mo wanted nothing to do with the little guy in spite of all the shepherd tricks we tried.  And, upon closer examination, it appeared that Mo did not have any milk.  The  little ram ended up in the kitchen and on the bottle.
He is thriving.  He takes a lot of extra work and he is driving our oldest dog crazy by sucking at her ears but he is a healthy lamb.  What a way to start our lambing season.