Sunday, March 08, 2015

This Is Not My Mother!

No lambs in the barn this morning.  I think I have two more ewes to go.  They are so big they can hardly breathe.  We had an eventful day in the barn yesterday, with a giant 15 pound ram lamb standing beside two ewes when I first went out.  He was magnificent, all dried off, just hanging out.  Trouble was when both ewes acted like his mother.  Both had semi-clean behinds, one way to tell if a ewe has just given birth - they clean up magically and quickly.  Both were talking to him, and nosing him, a maternal behavior.  I decided on one ewe and we went about pulling them both into the maternity ward for clip-dip-strip and bonding.  The other ewe kept acting funny and my instincts told me she was about to give birth and might have decided the ram lamb was her baby already born.  The ram did not seem interested in nursing from the first ewe and the other one kept looking for the lamb.  As the day went on I realized I had made a mistake.  I put the lamb back out into the barn and she ran for him.  I got spouse to hold mom so I could check her out.  Sure enough - she was LOADED with milk.  I nursed out a full cup of colostrum and fed it to this hungry baby.  They are now in a pen together and she is in heaven.  He is a little slow and I'm watching him.  Great big lambs can sometimes be a bit lethargic.  I have two sweaters on him and made sure to feed him before I went to bed.  If he is not nursing this morning I will have to nurse her out again - not a favorite thing for ewes, as gentle as I am. Margareta, half Border Leicester and half Bluefaced Leicester is a huge ewe, and very beautiful, with bountiful fleece.  Young Ragnar should give me a lovely fleece himself.  Very much looking forward to that.

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