Friday, April 02, 2010

Same song, second verse...

...or third and fourth verse, depending on how you sing it!

In the middle of the day there was a break in the cold, driving rain so I let everyone except the new mamas and babes out for some fresh grass and exercise. As I glanced out the windows from time to time, I could see four sheep mostly grazing - and Inky mostly not. Her tail wasn't out like Dinah's was yesterday, but I was suspicious - and a little stressed. A third lambing jug/nursery pen would mean tight quarters for both Dinah and Inky - and taking the heat lamp from Dinah's lamb, who worried me last night and this morning with his less than perky behavior after a strong start.

Fortunately, he is back to bouncy lamb behavior now, whether due to the natural course of things or the shot of Karo syrup and a bit of Dinah's milk via syringe I foisted upon him. It didn't hurt that Inky gave him a few more hours....

When I did a barn check at 7:00 this evening, Inky was sporting a water bag. I quickly determined that dividing Dinah's pen would not work, so I hustled Dinah and son into the corner pen with Brava and son, threw down fresh straw, and moved Inky into the lambing jug.

After 30 minutes with no progress and not knowing how long it had been since the water bag appeared, I decided to check for a malpresentation. Two feet and a nose: check. I paged Rick and fretted. Dinah watched intently:
Just as Rick arrived, Inky finally laid down and pushed out a jet black lamb. At first I thought Inky had replicated herself, but then discovered it was another ram without horn buds. Rick asked if I thought that was it, and I said probably, based on both his ultrasound and her size. He told me I'd better check, just in case. So in I went - to find more feet! Rick thought I should pull it, but I decided to give Inky a chance to clean up "blackie" and deliver lamb #2 on her own. Eventually a second water bag appeared, but it was blood-tinged and Inky wasn't pushing at all. When that water bag broke an hour after the first lamb was delivered I decided I wasn't going to risk losing a lamb and went in again. I fished around and found two back feet and pulled out a small, live brown lamb with lots of head spotting. Did Inky and Braveheart give me my spotted girl? Uh, no, another ram lamb!

I managed to coax two marginal photos out of my mostly dead camera batteries, made sure both boys found the buffet, dipped their navels, and weighed them ("blackie" is 6+ lbs. and "brownie" is 5+ lbs.).

So . . . "phase 1" lambing lasted five days and resulted in four live ram lambs, three of whom appear to be at least half-polled. I'm thinking about renaming the first two, and using music-related names for the last two (refer to title), so stay tuned. I just hope Katie is incubating some girls for me!

That's it for tonight at . . .

19 comments:

melanie said...

Glad everything went well!

Theresa said...

Yes, both are adorable, outdoor plumbing or not.
Fingers crossed that Katie is keeping all those girls
for you.

Goodwife said...

They are so cute! I especially like the brown one, but I just adore brown!

Juliann said...

Very cool! And you've got soem spotting potential with the brown. Finger's crossed for few ewes for you, though!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

I'm so glad they were born safe and sound.

And I'm glad "the twins" loss doesn't seem to be affecting the other pregnancies. :)

Jenny Holden said...

I'm really hoping that I don't get a repeat of last year: ram lamb after ram lamb! Good luck getting some little ewes.

PS... I'd love to have a little of your Braveheart roving as my prize if that's ok? Should be light to post!

Mom L said...

More lovely babies! Congratulations!

Nancy in Iowa

Garrett808 said...

Last year my AI lambs were 17. 14 of them ram. I feel your pain!

On the good side, like you said is you can see their polled potential.

I'm so happy Inky gave you twins, and surprised you :)

Fleeces are looking nice! congrats!

Nancy K. said...

Congratulations on healthy twins. Now maybe you can relax and enjoy the Holiday weekend...

Happy Easter!

kristi said...

So I am understanding the whole ram lamb thing as 12 of 18 born last year for me were rams BUT all are healthy and moms are good but I still hope you get a few ewes;)

HisTek said...

Congratulations on your new ram lambs. Both are VERY cute. Hopefully you'll get some ewes from the next one. Happy Resurrection Day!
Jackie

A :-) said...

Oh - that spotty one is going to be the charmer, isn't he? :-)

Kathy said...

Way to go, Inky!!!!! Good Girl!

And good on you, M! I have lube ready in case I have to go diving IF my gals ever decide to get busy. :)

Congratulations!

Tammy said...

Congrats again, Michelle. Cute babies. The spotted one looks similar to the wild Ag/Musket markings I get here. It's shaping up to be a ram lamb year here as well, but at least one girl so far. Glad you were able to successfully deliver both boys w/out any losses. It'll be awhile before Katie delivers won't it?
Tammy

Michelle said...

Katie isn't due until the last day of May -- I have a long time to wait to see if the ram streak is broken!

Lois said...

Looks like you have joined the rest of us in ram-lambs this year; definitely a rammy year...must be sun-spots! Then again, I have been musing that not every ram is a herd-sire, so maybe we all need this many boys to find the exceptional ones. At least that has been my rationalization!

MollyBeees said...

YAY! Lots of new lambies!!!! Congrats and thanks for the ubercute pics!

Becky Utecht said...

Congrats on Inky's twins Michelle. I've had ram lamb years too and I understand how it feels. One year it was almost all ewe lambs, that was a good year for sure. But overall, we've ended up at 50/50 since our first year lambing in 2002. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ewe lambs from Katie, hopefully spotted ones. :-)

roundaboutacres said...

I love the spotted head on this ram. I will hope for a few ewes for you! I see you have had to "go in" a few times also. Yikes!