What better way to come back to my journal than with a birth announcement? Yes, it's a surprise but maybe not so much of a surprise when I recall how late I pulled the rams out of the flock. There must have been one night when a hint of coolness triggered the hormones in the ewes and there it goes. I pulled Luna from the flock when I became concerned about her weight. My sheep get all the hay they can eat, along with green grass late into the fall, but other factors can come into play. I pulled another aged ewe, Magnolia, out with her, along with Ole' Momma and her pal, both old ladies. Last year Ole Mama surprised me with a set of ram twins, Castor and Pollux, named after the staI rs. When Magnolia grew round with a swollen udder I knew birth was imminent. I was forking hay yesterday in the mow and heard that distinctive "Mommy chatter." Sheep talk their lambs out of the womb. Lambs know their mother's voices before they are born and can distinguish mom's call in a crowded flock. I ran downstairs and sure enough it was happening.
Thank goodness I was hear as the lamb was stuck at the pelvic bones with the shoulder joints preventing them from sliding through. I could see the little front feet on either side of the nose, peeking out from her behind. When I was sure the labor was not progressing, I washed up. I cupped my hand around the lambs head with my right hand and pulled one leg forward. The one leg extension unhooked the shoulder and allowed the lamb to come through. It took a bit of pulling on my part and pushing on her part, but soon the long yellow torpedo slid out. She began licking the ram lamb and I knew we were going to be okay....or so I thought.