Friday, December 04, 2009

Awaiting wonderful surprise packages

This morning I had my favorite vet out to ultrasound my ewes. My main question was whether or not the ewe lambs were pregnant, and thankfully it doesn't look like they are. However, Braveheart's break-out occurred three weeks ago today, so it may be too early to tell. Here are the gully girls getting their exams:
I have a breeding date for Brava, so she provided a good benchmark for fetal development. She appears to be carrying twins:

Dinah was next. Her single embryo was a bit smaller than Brava's, but hopefully big enough to indicate a Blackberry breeding. I hope so, because this will be Dinah's last Boulderneigh lambing. Next summer after weaning she is moving on to a spinner's flock.

Inky's embryo was the largest. Yes, I said embryo, because Rick thinks she's carrying a single. That would be a disappointing surprise, because Inky has lambed eight times and never singled. I hope she doesn't have a big bruiser of a ram lamb that gives her trouble during delivery!

Tiny fluttering heartbeats were visible in all the embryos; such a neat thing to see.

This morning's work wasn't just a curiosity-satisfying exercise. A new ewe is coming to Boulderneigh this month! She is a possible poll-carrier, and I would love to see what she would produce with Blackberry sooner rather than later. However, I don't have room for SIX ewe/lamb sets; that is why I wanted to ultrasound the ewe lambs. We may ultrasound them again in a couple weeks just to make sure before putting Blackberry with this lovely lady:I have it on the very best authority that she is as sweet-natured as she is silky-soft fleeced, and I am looking forward to making her feel welcomed and loved in her new home.

"Merry Christmas to me, merry Christmas to me, merry Christmas to Michelle; merry Christmas to me!" :-)

That's it for now from . . .

14 comments:

Claire said...

Oh my! How exciting! I wish I could do that with my ewes! I keep looking at that ultrasound and all I can see is a pizza with a single slice of pepperoni on it. I'm not very good at reading those things!! It sure would help to know who is definitely bred out of the recent BFL acquisitions!

Sharrie said...

That is some special vet you have!!!

An English Shepherd said...

We saw a vet do this on an Border Collies farming DVD we have. The farmer then sorts the sheep into ones with more than on liitle one in them and they get to spend the winter inside.

Wizz :-)

Mom L said...

I knew your blog was educational! It never occurred to me that ultrasound is used on more than human moms! It really sort of looks like Diane's first U/S. Baby Henry is just over 2 weeks old now.

Grandma Nancy in Iowa

Theresa said...

Oh what a pretty new girl is coming to stay with you. She does look both sweet and soft! Lucky Braveheart!
And how nice you have someone handy to come and ultrasound everyone! :-)

A :-) said...

Oh, that new ewe is really really beautiful!! Congratulations :-)

Juliann said...

I've never seen a sheep ultrasound, cool!
Congrats on your new girlie, she's beautiful! What's her name?
Oh, I got Silvio's side sample sent out to you, let me know what you think.

Christine said...

Gee whiz, sure was nice of that vet to come all that way to do the ultrasounds. ;-) Way cool to look at, I'll bet seeing the tiny little heartbeats was awesome. The miracle of life never ceases to amaze me.

Your new girl is a real beauty!

MiniKat said...

How exciting! What are you calling your new addition?

How old is Inky? Does age affect single vs double?

Michelle said...

The new ewe's name is Katie, Kat. :-) No, Inky's age of eight shouldn't be a factor in twinning. On this one I am trusting history more than technology; in other words, I'm expecting twins!

Kathy said...

I know Inky's probably cooking up a very special surprise for you and it takes so much magic, she can just do one at a time. :) (Go, Inky!)
Is the new girl one of Lois'?? She looks familiar, for some reason.

Sharon said...

Is that adorable black lamb your's or are you taunting me? Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir - three bags full. Hope so!

Michelle said...

Sharon, that dark (moorit) lamb in the last photo is Katie's, but doesn't come with her; sorry! Hopefully I WILL have black fleece for you next spring, though.

Jenny Holden said...

What an excellent Christmas present! I always used to enjoy the surprises of "scanning day" when I worked with a bigger flock (I can't really afford to have this done with mine). The girls with singles went back on the fell, partly because they didn't need extra feed and partly to prevent huge singles that the girls would struggle to lamb) while the twins and triplets got the good grazing and extra rations. Hope you're right about Inky!