Sunday, March 25, 2012

burning question

To answer the question that's at the top of everyone's mind:

No, Mama Cat did not manage to hatch out a half bird/half kitten baby yet.

Oh! You mean the other question!

Yes, the little lame ram lamb is still alive. Even better, the leg seems to be strengthening on its own. The current prevailing theory is that it was misaligned in utero. Goodness knows there couldn't have been much room in there.

Yes, of course, he is cute as the dickens,
which doesn't help matters.

Previous experience with triplets has taught us a lot about managing them to spot any potential problems early on. We have found these hands-on tricks to be especially helpful—along the lines of "a stitch in time saves nine":

  1.  A quick check of mouth (using a finger) and ear (using hands) temperature of every lamb every time we go to the barn. If the ears feel a little cool to our touch, we keep a close eye, but if the mouth feels cold, time for immediate intervention. The lamb is headed for hypothermia, and they don't have any body fat yet to draw on.
  2. Weighing each lamb the same time every day for the first few weeks, and writing the weights down, to track any discrepancies between lambs or worse, a failure to gain any weight at all.
  3. Spending a few minutes in the barn every trip, just observing the interaction between ewe and lambs and the general behavior and demeanor of each one.
  4. Along those lines... watching the lambs as they get up. If they stretch after they rise, it's a good sign that they are getting enough to eat.
I am pleased to report that Jasmine is still doing a bang-up job on all of these metrics, even more impressive given that this is her first time lambing. All three lambs have gained a pound since birth.

Today we took my LSH's father and step-mother out to the barn to see the lambs, and my LSH took out the black one for them to hold. Jasmine carefully checked the remaining lambs and you could almost see her counting "one, two..." She checked them over again, looked all around the jug, and then called to her missing one. I never thought that sheep could count, but she proved me wrong!


  1. Shepherds always knew that sheep can count!

  2. Happy lambing season, may all the deliveries be as easy as Jasmine's.