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More Lambs to Show Off

I've gotten behind! Yesterday afternoon, Sparkles had the best looking little girl! I really love her facial markings, and she's HUGE.

I watched Sparkles in labor via the lambcam until it looked like things had slowed a bit with the lamb's head out, but no further progress. When I went out to inspect the situation, I saw that we had a nose and only one hoof. Sparkles was pushing, so instead of trying to push the baby back in and adjust the hooves, I turned the lamb a bit to ease the shoulders and out she came.

And this morning, EmmyLou gave us an equally HUGE lamb ram! He's similar to Sparkles' ewe, but with a solid head. In fact, he's and HST (head, socks, tail). He carried the Katmoget genes, so I'm just assuming that he's got spots covering up those markings.

I don't have a pretty collage of him yet because I only had time for a few shots before heading to Kat's preschool for the morning.

Rose and June should be the next two to lamb!



My No-Good, Very Bad Day

What a crummy day. 

Yesterday we moved our chicks and ducks out to the big coup, but this morning my in-laws called to say that they found 10 dead chickens in the coup-yard. Apparently, the chicks went out the coup door and couldn't get back in. With the rain and a bit of a drop in temperature, they couldn't keep their body temperature up.

Once I got that call, I realized how cool it had gotten, and went out to check on my sheep. Emerald was in the tall grass not moving. She'd been struggling with parasites and anemia, but had seemed stronger over the weekend. Dave (FIL) and I had to use the riding mower to get her into the barn. I warmed her up with towels, a heater, a heat lamp and a blow dryer, but she wasn't really responding. 

The vet came out and said that pneumonia had also set in, and so at her recommendation, I decided to put her down. I feel terrible. Hindsight is always 20/20, and I should have locked her in the barn last night. I just took it for granted that she was stronger than she really was.

Now we have two little orphan lambs, but they're 8 weeks old now capable of weaning. It's just sad to see them out there without their mom. And I'll really miss Emerald; she was a wonderful, sweet ewe, a great mother and had an excellent fleece. 


Wordless Wednesday, August 22, 2012

June peeking around our willow.


The Wonder of Birth

Warning: the following pictures are graphic images of a sheep giving birth!

Our last ewe to lamb, Emerald, cooperated with us last Saturday, April 28, by giving birth at a reasonable hour--9pm! I had noticed her nesting and acting very about-to-give-birth-y, so I grabbed my camera and declared, "I'm sitting in the barn until this lamb comes!"

That was at 7 pm, so I didn't have too long to sit in the cold. She began having contractions around 8, and then things went pretty fast. Morgan, Mike and my mom-in-law, Jude were all present. Morgan is only 7 and handled things very well. She quietly asked questions as things progressed and wasn't phased at all.


Bag of water emerging.Hooves and nose emerging through the bag of water in the "diver" position.

The bag of water breaks and things get slipperier (hooves and nose again).


Head emerging.Shoulders emerging.Body emerging

Body mostly out. At this point, the sack came off the lamb's face and she started breathing. If Emerald had given birth standing, gravity would have helped finish up.Emerald was finished pushing, and the little lamb more or less kicked her way into the world.

Welcome to the world EmmyLou!

Gooey but alert.Up and searching. She was a little confused about which end had milk for a while. She finally got it.This was the best entertainment in the barn!

Starr (the llama on the far left) had a hard time containing herself; she wanted to help lick Emmylou clean. She kept sticking her nose between the slats of the birthing pen until Emerald finally gave her a strong head butt.

Lick, lick, lickingThe next morning, all clean and fluffy.

Out in the pasture on a foggy Wednesday morning (4 days old).