Tuesday, March 22, 2011

seeing triple

This is the first chance I have had today to sit down and dash off a quick post about the events of the last 24 hours. I was responsible for the 12 am feeding shift this morning. I wandered out and found Farrah in labor, with a broken water bag already trailing behind her.

I really, really hated to wake up my poor exhausted husband, but there was no choice. With apologies for the up close and personal shot of Farrah's rear end, this post-shearing snapshot shows no doubt that three lambs were in there:

Clearly her udder knew what was about to hit it. (Literally: the lambs pummel the bag with their heads to get the milk to let down. Poor ewes!)

By 1 am, my LSH managed to extricate Lamb 1 (black ewe lamb), with some assistance. Farrah made it all the more difficult because she refused to lay down and push. Imagine me trying to wrestle a 150 lb sheep to the ground, all by myself because my LSH had to keep his hands sterile and the boys were sleeping. It would have made a very amusing video but luckily the actual observers cannot operate camera equipment with their hooves.

We did not wait as long to intervene as we had with Henrietta; we had learned our lesson. We had Lamb 2 (black ram lamb) out by 1:30 am, and Lamb 3 (white ram lamb) out by 2 am. Farrah demonstrated last year that she is an excellent mother to triplets, but they were a little dozy after their trip into the world and could not seem to latch on. Just so we could get some sleep already, we milked out some colostrum and fed it to them in a bottle.

By this morning, they were all hale and hearty. My LSH and I cannot say the same for ourselves.

I spent the morning making little fleecy lamb coats -- tutorial to come -- to help the new triplets and a few of the more fragile lambs (Holly's ram lamb, Henrietta's remaining two) retain their body heat more easily, especially given the approaching storm.

Here's Holly's ram lamb to model the latest word in lamb fashion:

He's a natural!

Henrietta's ram (back) and ewe (front), all curled up in their favorite spot by the hay bunker (because that is where their mom likes to hang out):

And Farrah's set, settling down for a nap after the latest competition for a chance at the milk bar (I think the ewe lamb is in the back):

Don't they all look cute in their matching primitive country ensembles?

I just got back in from the 10 pm feeding, and I left a scene of utter peace in the barn. Except for the triplets, all of the lambs are out of the jugs. The mothers have staked out individual little corners, and tucked their lambs in for the night while they stand or lay guard over them. Even Holly's little ram lamb is tucked behind his sister and mother (he has learned that Holly will not go after him if he hides behind his sister, whom she has accepted completely).

And now I am off to join them in dreamland -- until 3 am, when I get to join them in person.


  1. They are so cute! And I love their designer coats!

  2. Nice fleecy jackets you made! You should patent the idea and sell them.

    Congrats on all the babies. I wish some of them stayed at this size with all their cuteness. Our first lamb is already so big...we can't lift him up. Good luck with all the storm our way...stay warm. If you lived closer I would have volunteered to come and feed the babies.

    Is it me, or there is one sheep that didn't get sheared in the picture?

  3. Colorful designer lamb coats...is this a new line for the farm store?

  4. You are going to have to enter the one of Holly's white ram in the photo contest at the 4H Fair this summer. He is just adorable and seems to be loving his new coat.

    One more to deliver, right?

  5. Well done, my friend, well done. Hope you are able to get some supernatural rest.

  6. What does LSH charge for midnight vet calls?

    Great job they all made it!

  7. Mazel tov on the triplets! The coats are very sweet!

  8. Thanks for letting us see the lambs today. The kids could not stop talking about it at dinner!! Hope the lambs wean soon from the bottle so you can get some rest. Sam