It's been a strange start to the 2011 lambing season. The 14 early lambs --compliments of a gate-jumping, crossbred ram lamb --are a couple of weeks old now. There are three single births, four sets of twins, and one set of triplets -- nine ram lambs and five ewe lambs. All-in-all, a nice-looking bunch of lambs.
One ewe lost both of her lambs -- an aborted stillborn and a malpresented lamb (head back) eventually delivered dead. I have a devil of a time delivering lambs whose heads are back. I'm 0 for 4 in ten years. So, I milked the ewe for about ten days and now have a supply of colostrum and sheep milk in the freezer. I bought one of those Udderly EZ milkers. Worked great.
So far, only one ewe has lambed in the planned breeding season. The first set of Katahdin lambs -- a black and white split pair from a two year old -- were born two days ago. It's looking like lambing will be a bit later this year, though quite a few look ready to pop.
As my mom likes to remind me, every year is different. Lots of lambs will be born. Most will be born and raised without problems. There are likely to be a few problem births and lambs.
It's a time of the year that I always enjoy.