Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Surprises and watched pots

As I approached the barn to do chores Sunday morning, sheep started talking to me . . . then I heard a distinct "mama voice." I quickly looked over the gate and saw Bree(!) laying down along the back wall, murmuring at a lamb at her back end, still half-covered by amniotic sack with umbilical cord attached. I detached the little fellow and moved him to Bree's head so she could lick him off and bond, scurried around completing chores, and then moved mother and son to the nursery stall. Bree's udder, like Blaise's, wasn't very full  and I couldn't strip any milk by hand, so I called Rick on my cell phone to see if giving her a shot of oxytocin might help. He came down and was able to express some milk; together we made sure the little fellow latched on, and left them to it.

So, two ewes surprised me by lambing last weekend without the classic physical signs . . . while Bridget kept me on my toes! She has really expanded in the two weeks since I sheared her, and by Sunday evening her vulva and udder were so 'ripe' that I set up the corner lambing pen and put her in it – for her own safety, if nothing else. Her coat was too loose to be safe for a newborn, so I found one that fit her better. A different coat made her a target for the other ewes (sheep are very visual), and I didn't want a repeat of last year's nearly fatal bashing.

Even though I was hoping for a third lambing in three days, there were no new lambs waiting for me on Monday morning. (But there was a spectacular sunrise!) I turned the ewes without lambs out on pasture, keeping an eye on Bridget.

my three 'watched pots'

When they came back in, Bridget's appearance no longer drew fire, so they hung out together until bedtime, when I put Bridget back in the corner pen for the night. Still nothing on Tuesday morning, but she was holding her tail out and to the side. Oh well; it was a gray, wet day, perfect for staying home and waiting on lambs. Finally, at my first check of the afternoon, I found this:

A strapping single ram, black at first sight, but on closer inspection, clearly Ag grey.

Names have come a little slower to me than usual this year. I decided on Bauble and Bijou for Blaise's twins, using big sister Bling's name as inspiration. After determining that Bree's son is indeed jet black, not dark brown, he got the name Blackjack. After casting about for ideas for Bridget's son, this morning his name practically whacked me upside the head: Bridger!

Here are photos of all four, from oldest to youngest, from this morning:
Bijou (ram), left, and Bauble (ewe), right

the tip of Bauble's tail – that's her 'bauble'  😁




That leaves Bette and Bernadette yet to lamb. Will they be stealthy or advertise their imminence? Will they continue the dominance of black boys? Will they have singles or twins? Only time will tell; I'm not taking off for the coast this weekend (church women's retreat) just in case!

That's the lamb spam to date from . . .


Mama Pea said...

That first pic of Bree and her son makes him look HUGE! I couldn't help but wonder how a lamb that big could come out of her. But then the other pictures show him a more reasonable size. But he's probably bigger than twin births would be since he's a single boy. My, oh my, you already have little lambies all over the place. What fun!

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Yeah, it's all in the perspective, Mama Pea. Blackjack is a nice-sized lamb but not much bigger than Bijou. The twins are petite not only because they're twins; their mama is my smallest ewe. Bridget's son is the largest so far.

A :-) said...

I'm just in love with Blackjack and Bridger!! Congratulations on more beautiful lambies!! :-)

Leigh said...

Adorable pictures. I know you'll be relived when everybody is on the ground!

Jeanne said...

Awww! The babies are all adorable. I'm so glad they all came with no problems! Each one is just beautiful. I'm anxious to see the rest, when they are born.

That sunrise you had was lovely.

We're still having very chilly weather here where I'm visiting. I hope it'll be warm and sunny on Easter Sunday.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yay :-D

Retired Knitter said...

Oh the joys of cuddling those baby lambs so they get used to human touch (and because they are just too darn cute)