Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring is for lambing

I truly have lost count of the number of lambs that have been born (still no goat kids!). I believe there is one lamb over a 200 percent lamb crop, so I guess all I have to do is count the number of ewes that have lambed and multiply by two (and add one).

Ewe taking care of lambsWhile it started out as a dreary, foggy day, it turned into a beautiful spring day, quite fit for lambs to be born. In fact, having lambs born out on pasture makes spring seem that much closer.

Three sets of twin lambs were born today, two split sets and a pair of ram lambs. The dams are all old, standby ewes: #'s 01, 92, and 90. #92 is my flock builder. I will probably keep her ewe lamb. #01 has also been a really good producer. She raised triplet lambs the previous two years. I guess she deserves a break this year.

Over the weekend, three sets of triplets came into the world, along with a set of twins. The first set of triplets were waiting for me when I got home from the hay auction (without any hay). It was #10's third set of triplets in as many years. I guess I should keep one of her ewe lambs.

The second two sets required assistance. Freckles (#49) had acted goofy the whole day, then labored for a few hours in the evening without any progress. When I investigated, I discovered the problem: a breech baby was blocking the way. I ended up losing the breech baby. He was delivered alive, but must have been deprived of oxygen, because he died shortly after birth. The other two lambs -- a ewe and ram -- are doing fine. It will be the first time in long while that Freckles is not raising triplets. I'll still give her special atttention.

Black ewe with spotted lambAnother ewe, #325, also labored too long without any progress. She was only partially dilated and had a malpresented baby blocking the way for its siblings. This lamb had died in utero. Once it was removed, the other two lambs could be delivered. They are big boys: one tan, one white! The ewe has not totally passed her afterbirth, so I am a little worried about her. I wonder what causes babies not be be presented right for birth.

One of my black ewes (#454) delivered a colorful, mixed set of twins. The male is red, while the female is spotted, as shown.


The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.

When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here.

Author Unknown

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