Thursday, April 5, 2012

a slight improvement in stats

Our lambing schedule is all higgledy-piggledy this year, with only the barest resemblance to the dates predicted by the marking harness. We are still waiting for Holly to lamb—according to the marking harness, she should have had her lambs last Saturday, give or take three days. Here we are plus five days and when I just left her in the barn, she was chewing her cud, a good sign that she will not be lambing in the next few hours.

Jenny was due this coming Saturday. My LSH glanced out his lab window (which faces the back pastures) during work today, and lo and behold, Jenny was attending to something small and black on the ground next to the little shed.

That's as close as I was allowed to get.

Yep, two lambs!

Even more exciting, one of them was a ewe lamb! (Given our stats so far, we knew it was silly to even think about twin ewes. The count is now 1 ewe, 6 rams.)

Unfortunately Jenny reverted to her usual wild child behavior and refused to follow the script. We went to check the situation out; she ran the other way. Most of our ewes, even the least friendly, will stay with their lambs no matter how they feel about us personally. Though to be fair to Jenny, the lambs were vigorous enough at that point to follow her, so she wasn't abandoning them, just trying to get away from us and take them with her.

It was a circus getting them into the barn, processed (weighed / umbilical cord cut and the entire area bathed in iodine to keep out infection / mineral supplement) and into a lambing jug with her. Thank goodness Secondo, my current right-hand man, started his spring break today and was here to help me. Jenny was so stressed out by the chase, and so contemptuous of the jug, that she chose to ignore her lambs in favor of glaring balefully at whoever was in the barn checking on her.

We left her alone for a few hours, and by the time we came back from Maundy Thursday service, she had settled down. The lambs were up looking for her udder, both with nice warm mouths, and she was nickering away at them. She was even happier when the rest of the mothers, plus expectant Holly and possibly, maybe, we are just not sure about her Honey, joined her in the barn for the night.

Now if we can just get those lambs out of Holly!

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