Oh my. It has been a busy two days. Let me try to go in order...
During the early Wednesday morning check, I found Henrietta in labor. No pushing yet, so enough time to run back to the house and get the lambing towels luckily laundered the day before, and throw back a cup of coffee.
We got the still-preggers ewes out to pasture so we could focus on Henrietta, but she was taking her sweet time. In the meanwhile we worked on checking Holly and Jasmine and getting them settled for the day, only to discover that one of Jasmine's lambs had awful smelly scours (sheepy runs), quite a concern for a newborn.
Back to the house to check on the preferred treatment. When I returned, Henrietta was flat on her side with a non-moving slimy black bundle on the ground behind her.
It must have been right after the lamb was born; turns out they were both fine. Can't say the same for my heart, which was pounding away for quite a while afterwards. Again in her own time, she produced the second one, again by herself. BOTH RAMS. Argh. But I did manage to get a nice video of the second one trying to get to his feet, despite his brother stepping on him.
Back and forth I went all day. Henrietta was slow in letting down her milk... Holly's two smaller lambs needed a bottle... Jasmine's sick ewe lamb needed cleaning up on a regular basis.
Close observation is the key right now. The white ewe lamb constantly sleeping on top of her mother was a good hint that she was cold. Henrietta's lambs were having trouble latching on, so I went out at 1 a.m. to offer extra milk and discovered one of hers with scours as well. It's not all problems: Jasmine's ram lamb is completely healed as of today, so that's one worry off the list.
I am so tightly focused on them that the rest of my life is a bit of a blur.
We managed to get everyone under control today—until I went out to show a friend the new lambs, and found Kevyn in the shed by herself, vigorously cleaning something on the ground in front of her.
Yup. Two more. Do I even need to add that they are both black, and both rams? Heartbreaking, too, as they are the most vigorous and bouncy of the lot, requiring absolutely no assistance.
Another slight reconfigure of the barn was in order. As of tonight, we have Holly and Jasmine and their six lambs in the nursery. The wooden gate in the back, where the boys are standing, is a creep area: the lambs can get in, but the ewes can't. It's a little lamby rumpus room, where we can feed them separately when they are a bit older.
Henrietta (top) and Kevyn (bottom) are in lambing jugs with their four. They all still need a little more bonding time together, and the smaller confined spaces allow them to get acquainted in peace, and keep the lambs from getting too far away from their mothers.
Kali (front) and Jenny (back) have the rest of the barn to themselves.
They are quite interested in the new arrivals, but will have to wait until they have their own to get up close and personal with some lambs. They are so close to their own due dates that they might try to steal the newborns for their own.
Sheep logic: shortcut the whole process by taking someone else's lambs. Nope girls, it doesn't work that way. You are stuck going through labor on your own.