Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Last Lambs

We didn’t know if the two yearling ewes Poppy and Honeysuckle actually bred their first year. Although new Shepherds, I was fairly sure they were pregnant since they had the characteristic “full” look, the right side (baby side in ruminants) was more prominent then the rumen side, and their belly hung lower (when not pregnant they have a tucked-up look). But we weren’t counting on it.

Sure enough, SSR Poppy delivered a tiny little ram Tuesday, April 16th. But he was too tiny, we think a preemie. He only weighed around 3 pounds, the entire hoof was soft and white still, teeth not erupted, and the horn area was just bare skin. He was very weak and couldn’t stand or suckle. As the morning went on he grew weaker, soon he was barely breathing and seemed unconscious. The poor wee one didn’t make it. Poppy grieved for a couple days, but is doing well. She appears to have adopted the role of flock Auntie with the lamb’s often taking naps all around her, and licking her ears; she checks on them all. She is a very sweet tempered ewe anyway and had been quite gentle with each new lamb born. 

Then on the 21st, SSR Honeysuckle delivered a darling little ewe. She is small too at 4lbs. 7oz, but is fully developed and vigorous. She is dark brown with white spotting, really adorable. We watched most of the day to make sure she had nursed but Honeysuckle always seemed to step away from her when she tried. Being that Honeysuckle is a first time mom, we couldn’t rest easy so we got hold of her and helped the lamb get a teat. Boy was she happy for that meal! My coat buttons, collar, and chin just didn’t satisfy! And for anyone who has ever had a milk cow, Honeysuckle went into “the zone” while the lamb was nursing.   ;)    Both seem fine today but we’re keeping a close eye on them. The lambs sire is Cedar Haven Max.

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