Monday, March 5, 2012

Triplets x 2

This morning started with a bang.  As we drove down the driveway we saw one of our clun mixes (1/2 clun, 1/2 romney) standing off to herself under an old growth tree.  At her feet was a lamb, then we when came around the corner, out popped another lamb from behind the roots...then ANOTHER.  Triplets! 

She had done an excellent job cleaning them up and they were trying to nurse.  We caught them and brought them over to a clean jug where first time Momma and her three lambs snuggled into the straw.  She gave us two ram lambs and an ewe lamb. No wonder she was as wide as a house.   

While we were jugging the clun and her lambs I saw Maimie (the Columbia/Rambouillet ewe who was injured last summer  - remember the horrible wound on the inside of her leg that happened when a dog landed an unfortunate grip) water bag was out and ready to break.  We were able to quickly get her in the birthing jug - where over the course of an hour she delivered the first ram lamb - complete breech presentation (butt first) - by herself - I did not need to assist.  She was making progress swiftly and delivered it without a problem.  I was expecting only a single from her due to her size, surprise surprise, I checked her thinking if she had only a single I could graft one of the triplets from the Clun onto her.  No dice, she had another one on the way, this time a proper presentation, poof out dropped another ram lamb.  Shortly after that, she started pushing again...and viola a huge ewe lamb joined the world. 

Another set of triplets from the ewe that I thought would only give us a single.    This girl certainly earned her name. 

As I sat in the birthing jug with her, she was relaxed, and trusted me.  As I picked up the lambs to snip and dip their cords, she licked my hands and did not push me away, instead kept talking to her babies & cleaning them.  I was able to examine her both times without problems.  I cherish the trust she has in me.  I remember this summer when we first started treating that wound - she was skittish and frightened all the time.  It is amazing to me how they know you are helping...

Tonight both Moms and sets of triplets are warm and safe in their jugs.  The lambs all have coats on to help keep them warm while the temp drops into the 20's again tonight.  I checked them before bed, each had a full tummy and warm mouth.  Mom's were eating & drinking well.

For those that are wondering, our jugs are in a 3 sided shelter.  One side is open to the weather above a 4 ft tall plywood wall which breaks the wind but they are far from weather proof. 

Each jug offers a thick layer of straw for bedding.  We are erring on the side of caution and choosing to put coats on our lambs to prevent hypothermia until their body temps are self regulating, since we are unable to provide a heat lamp safely.  

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

4 ewes delivered 18 more to go.
5 ewe lambs
4 ram lambs



K-Koira said...

Wow, that is a nice increase in the number of sheep on your property, all in one day!

Ferreh Hiatt said...

I'm loving being able to watch your lambing and see your flock grow. We're lambing even later than normal this year, so I'm living vicariously through others. We usually start mid-May, but "someone" (me) forgot to arrange to lease the ram and now it will be early June.

Karen said...

Congrats on the new additions! Sounds like things are going pretty well so far.