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Buttercup Gives Us a Ram!

This morning, Buttercup delivered an absolutely beautiful gray Katmoget ram! He's got the best wool I've ever seen on one of our lambs; I'm so excited!

This year, we've decided to keep all the ram lambs as fiber animals by making them wethers. That'll put our flock right at 20 animals, and we'll take a break from breeding. That'll be my final fiber flock!

Take a look at these curls and bright color!

He's a sweet little thing, too. He came to me and let me scratch him for a while before settling down for a nap.

We've also decided on names for Peridot's kiddos. Our theme this year is our family's favorite TV show characters, so we're starting the naming off with characters from Psych.



And Lassiter (Lassie for short):



Peridot Delivers Twins

Note: I've had to edit this whole post because I originally thought we had two boys, but apparently I shouldn't try to determine lamb sex when I'm tired! We have one ram and one ewe. 

We finally have some lambs to celebrate! Last Tuesday night, at 9:37 and 9:43pm, Peridot delivered a ram and a ewe. They're both nice Katmogets that look brown-based right now, but I'm pretty sure are actually gray.

Ram: He's darker (right now, but I'm sure that'll fade) with a nice white ring around his head.

Ewe: She's lighter with traditional Kat facial coloring. She's got nice white tips on her ears, though!


Photo should read "Ewe: 1 day old . . ."

Peridot was very frustrating to watch through labor. She would come into the barn, start having contractions, then leave to hang out with the flock and eat. Not normal behavior for a ewe in labor. She didn't read the chapter that explained how a ewe will set herself apart from the group and stop eating. She was so focused on food that even during active, heavy pushing, she would stand up and nibble the hay. I never knew sheep could turn to food for stress relief!


. . . and a few more!

Sparkles couldn't be outdone, so she got busy and had a set of twin rams at 10:30 this morning.

The white ram is Ash and the brown ram is Hickory. 

We've named Emerald's girls Violet (left) and Lily (right). Here's an updated pic of them as well.


Now we just have Peridot to go! Well, and June if she's pregnant. That one will be a while though. I would expect a lamb from her at the end of April if she's going to have one.


First Lambs of the Season!

That change in Emerald's belly sure was a sign of impending labor!

Emerald had twin ewes early this morning! What a great way to start the lambing season.

Kat had come into our room around 4:15 am, and since I was up, I decided to check the lamb cam. Everyone was peacefully laying down, but I decided to do another sweep around the barn. On the second pass, Emerald was standing and pawing the ground. Good sign of labor! When she layed down and did this:

I knew it was active labor. That photo doesn't look very dramatic, but she was raising her head up and back, and one point looking directly into the camera. Sheep don't generally look up that high. Her odd position and the fact that she was up and down were all indicators of what was going on.

So I made myself a cup of coffee, suited up in my winter working gear, grabbed two towels and the medical kit, and headed out. I made myself comfortable to watch, and within an hour she was pushing. 

When the first lamb was born, she was so tiny, I knew there had to be a second one. Well, I hoped there was a second one or else something was really wrong. 

I grabbed the towel just to clear her face, and Emerald was doing a good job licking her off. Within 3 minutes or so, the second lamb was born. I didn't really realize Emerald was pushing again so soon until I looked up, saw the lamb dangling and heard a "plop." The bag hadn't been broken around her face, so I went to her pretty fast to clear the fluid and get her breathing.

I have the birth of the first twin on video, and I had to put the camera down to clean babies up, so I don't have many photos until after both were born. 



Sparkles and Peridot (though in this photo it's Sparkles and June) went to the lambs pretty quickly and helped clean them off. I thought this was a beautiful, natural thing, and good since these were Emeralds first twin and she may have needed help. Also, they came so close together that she didn't have time to get #1 dry before #2 was born.

I didn't factor in their mothering instincts. Sparkles and Peridot are GREAT moms, so great that they wanted to mother these two. Sparkles started pushing Emerald away from the babies, so I scooped them both up and put them in the lambing jug.

Sparkles and Peridot followed so closely that Emerald couldn't get into the jug! I had to put the lambs down and bodily drag the other ewes out, then try to get Emerald in. It was a mess.

Then I was stuck. We don't have a gate on the jug yet, and the pallet that we were going to use to slide in front of the opening was outside! I gave Emerald  a few minutes then had to leave my post. When I got in, we had the same situation all over again. 

I pulled and dragged (I think I may have pulled out handfuls of wool!) and finally got everyone where they were suppose to be. And slid the pallet in place.

I watched for a while, but Emerald was too busy eating to really pay much attention to the lambs, and I was tired. So I went in, gave them each a good rub down, removed the waxy plug from both teats, and even milked a little syringe-full of colostrum. This is a trick I learned from another blog: feed the lambs an ounce or so of colostrum and it's enough of a boost to get them up and nursing faster. Not exactly the most natural way to do things, but it lets you go back to bed sooner!

Here they are finally separated into their own jug:

Two nice gray Katmulgets ewes, one with some fun spotting on her head. There's a slight chance that the one laying down is fawn, but I'll have to wait until all the goo is off and the sun is out to really tell.

At two hours old now, they're both popping around and nursing well!

My prediction is that Sparkles and Peridot will both lamb within the next 24 hours.