Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fáilte to Bree and Brosna!

On some level I knew Vienna was going to lamb on St. Patrick's Day, hence the Irish place-names search. There were subtle clues; slight changes in her behavior. Still, this was her first lambing at Boulderneigh, and her udder wasn't tight, so there was room for doubt.

I went to work Tuesday morning uneasily, but figured 1) she's an experienced ewe and 2) I wouldn't be gone all day. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home was check on her; she was just standing there looking at me like all the rest of the ewes, so I turned them out on pasture. Instead of grazing, Vienna hung out by the gate, tail slightly elevated. I went to the house and took care of some tasks, keeping an eye on her through windows, then went back to the fold to ready a lambing jug. Even if she lambed out in the pasture, Vienna and her newborn(s) would need a safe haven from bratty teenagers and cranky women when in the fold.

Vienna seemed to be waiting on me. I propped open the fold gate, opened the pasture gate, and asked her if she really wanted to go back in all by herself. She answered quickly and decisively, so I settled her in with water, hay, and a little grain.

I checked on her every hour or so, sometimes finding her standing and sometimes finding her down, but never finding her in obvious labor.

When I checked her shortly after 6:00 pm, something caught my eye. I checked closer, found her tail and the back wall smeared with just a little bright red blood. Hmmm; where did that come from? Nothing was presenting; her vulva looked unchanged. I called Rick; he suggested I see what I could feel. Again, nothing. Her cervix was dilating, but I couldn't feel any lamb parts.

Reluctant to interfere, I continued waiting and watching. If it hadn't been for that little bit of blood, I would have thought she was just taking her time to go into active labor, but that blood worried me. Finally, after chores, Rick decided to check things out – and found the cork in the bottle. A lamb had its head and front legs tucked down against its chest, apparently trying to come "withers first" – a physical impossibility. With effort Rick got its head and front legs up and pulled it out, but it was too late for the perfectly formed moorit ram lamb; there was no reviving him.

Back in Rick went, and came out fairly quickly with a moorit lamb that was alive, albeit with what sounded like a lot of fluid in its lungs and surrounded by meconium. I started working with that one while Rick went back in – to find lamb #3, very much alive and back-peddling just as hard as it could!

Vienna and I both worked on getting lambs 2 and 3 cleaned up and cleaned out, and I checked plumbing. Two ewe lambs! Now if only they survived the stress of their delayed entry.

I made sure both found the milk bar (Vienna is such a careful and accommodating mother) and headed to bed.

This morning, armed with monikers, I headed to the Sheep Sheraton. Nestled in the straw were two dry, alert lambs; hallelujah!
Brosna, with an audience
Brosna in the straw

Bree with Vienna

Late this afternoon after the other ewes had enjoyed pasture time, I let the little family out for awhile. Happy, happy Spring!

That's it for now from . . .

16 comments:

Victoria Huff said...

Congratulations! Two girls this time. You must be thrilled (and tired). Good luck to the whole family.

Lisa Smith said...

Poor Vienna . . . no wonder nothing was happening. I'm so glad everything worked out okay for the 2 girls. I looked up Brosna and it said it's Irish (female) for "surname". Then I looked up Bree and found it to be Irish (female) for "the exalted one, high, noble". It must be quite interesting to choose names for the newborns!

Warm Regards, Lisa in Oregon

Michelle said...

Victoria; yes, and yes!

Lisa, I LOVE choosing names! I hope Sarai gives me a couple more chances. ;-)

A :-) said...

Finally some baby girls for your flock!! Congratulations!!

A :-) said...

Finally some baby girls for your flock!! Congratulations!!

Karen Valley said...

Who is the proud father? They appear to be lighter at the skin? Is modified a possibility?

LannieK said...

That little voice in the back of our heads is so important. Congrats, I am so happy for you and glad all is well. You guys must be thrilled. Looking forward to more photos :-)

Tubaville said...

Congratulations on the new additions! I'm so happy for you and the ewe!!

Susan said...

Glad you both were there for her - what lovely ewe lambs!

Michelle said...

Yes, Adrienne, I am thrilled with the girlies. With the two ewe lambs from last year, I should be set with replacement ewes!

Karen, the sire is my Boulderneigh Blake, a musket who was atypical as a lamb. I used him on both ewes last fall in hopes of getting more staple length on Sarai's and Vienna's lambs. His son Bart has an AMAZING fleece; soft, fine, bolder crimp style, and great length.

I'll work on getting some, LannieK. ;-)

Thank-you, Tubaville.

Me, too, Susan!

shelly hancock said...

Hooray! Good girl Vienna!

Shiralyn Yates said...

So glad you got the two babies. They are beautiful.

Spinners End Farm said...

Thank goodness for your vigilance and Ricks skill....and congrats all the way around. Triplets too....sheesh!

Michelle said...

She's a great ewe, Shelly; many thanks to Kelly for letting me buy her!

Thank-you, Shiralyn; I couldn't be happier with the two little ewe lambs. (Well, maybe if they sported a little white.... ;-)

If we had intervened hours earlier I suspect we would have saved the ram lamb, Sherry, but hindsight is 20/20....

Kelly said...

I'm so glad you listened to your woman's intuition. Triplets, I would have never thought she'd trip.........wow. Good Job by all and congrats.

Laura said...

You know Bree means a storm or tempest?