Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bean's Lambs

We're getting more snow today, probably around 6" or so.  I went out to feed the sheep this morning, and heard little voices.  Not voices in my head, but lamb voices.  Bean lambed shortly before I arrived, out in the main shelter.  I'd been checking udders on her and Barley, but neither looked ready to lamb.  In fact, I would have estimated they'd lamb in about 2 weeks, based on udder size.

Bean didn't want to wait that long, apparently.  It's uncanny how ewes will be affected by the weather.  Perhaps the barometric pressure changes affect them, or perhaps they just think, "Hmm...let's pick the worst possible time to lamb because lambing on nice days would be boring."

I'm just glad today is a snow day for me, so I didn't have to rush off to work.  I kicked Dixie and her ram lamb out of the jug, and put Bean and her two ewe lambs (yay!) in with the heat lamp.

I briefly thought about putting Dixie and her ram lamb outside, but tonight is going to get down in the low single digits, and though he'd probably do fine, I figured one more night in the barn wouldn't hurt him.   So they're loose in the barn, since Darla is in the second jug.

After lambs are born, I typically strip each teat (that means milk out each side of the udder, just a bit) to make sure the wax plug is out (which can keep lambs from being able to nurse).  I also like to check to make sure the ewe has decent colostrum.  I couldn't get anything from one side of Bean's udder, and I got dark colostrum (brown, not yellow like it should be) out of the other side.

For now, the lambs are being supplemented with cow colostrum that I had in the freezer, but they're also continuing their nursing, even if they're not getting anything.  I'm not sure what's up with her udder, but I'm hoping her milk will come in soon.  I'm thinking perhaps she lambed a bit earlier than she should have, though the lambs look normal.

I'll massage her udder, and hope that helps stimulate milk let down.  Since I'm going out of town this weekend, poor David will have to bottle feed the lambs.  I could think of worse chores to do.  ;-)

Darla was jealous of the attention.  I'd be happy to shower her with attention if she'd just go ahead and lamb...preferably in the next 16 hours.  That's not too much to ask, is it?  She's looking very close, but I feel like I've been saying that for a week!

UPDATE at 8:45 pm:  Bean's got normal colostrum on both sides of her udder now, so the lambs will be fine and my lucky husband will NOT have to bottle feed them while I'm away.  :-)

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