Thursday, March 23, 2006

Young Mothers

Two yearling ewes (#'s 517 and 526) gave birth to twins recently. Both are good mothers, but neither has a lot of milk (yet). I'm supplementing the lambs, bottle feeding the first set of twins and tube feeding the younger set, born this morning. I still have four more yearlings to go. Two are bagging up. The other two are younger and not showing any signs yet. My two goat yearlings aren't showing any signs of impending motherhood either. Their mom hasn't kidded yet, but is definitely pregnant. Perhaps, she kept the young billy away from her daughters. Damn goat!

I've decided to get rid of my goats. I've only got four, plus their babies (so far, only two of them). I need to reduce my flock to 30. I had exposed 40 for breeding: 36 ewes and 4 does. 40 is too many for my hoop house. I don't really have enough room to handle them during lambing and kidding. 40 is too many for my seven acres of pasture. The goats don't like my pasture anyhow; it doesn't contain much browse. Since the goats require more effort and don't produce as much income, they will go. I'll miss having goats, but I won't miss some of their antics. I prefer sheep.

The lambs are looking good and doing well. The ewe that prolapsed her uterus is doing okay. She is eating. I think she is going to make it. Unfortunately, too much time has passed for her to take her lamb (Peter) back. The black ewe that had the c-section is doing well. Her lambs are doing great. Tomorrow, her stitches come out. I already have a buyer for her black ram lamb, so the c-section was definitely worth the cost, not to mention it was the right thing to do for the ewe and her lambs.

Peter (the Great), the bottle lamb, is driving me crazy. He follows me everywhere. He goes through gates to get to me. I can't go through doors anymore because he is on my heels, through the gates before I have a chance to close them. He jumps around on the hay. He's not afraid of McComb. He's a hearty eater. Soon, it will be time to reduce his bottle feedings to 3 a day. He's solid, doing well. I can't decide whether or not to castrate him. If he's a wether, I might be able to sell him as a pet or grazer. With his genetics, I think he might grow into a nice breeding ram.

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