Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Lambs

So I haven't posted to my blog in over a year. Now my old Easter photos are relevant again! I'm so behind I'm timely...

But I had to post a couple photos of my lambs, born April 1st and 2nd. Fulfilled a lifelong dream of sharing my life with sheep last summer when I purchased two Icelandic ewes. Borrowed a ram lamb from a friend for the fall and sure enough, he did his job. Got two sets of twins from two ewes who up until this point had only produced single lambs. More babies than I'd ever thought I would have!

I ended up with three rams and one ewe. I can't have that many sheep on my property so having three rams made it easier to decide who to keep. The boys will be butchered this fall and I will keep the ewe lamb. She's the black one shown above. Her name is April. Her mother, Belle, has a wonderful fleece and I was hoping for a colored ewe lamb out of her and I was fortunate enough to get just that. The little white one had a rough start and had to take a bottle once in a while so he runs right up for a scratch..So sweet.

These are Icelandic sheep, a primitive breed that is sheared twice a year. Wonderful wool, wonderful meat. They are cousins to the smaller Shetlands. You can read about them here.

It's a joy to watch all the lambs bounce and run around together. Certainly makes it seem like spring around here.

I'll try to post more often. Certainly more than once a year!


Bachar Farms said...

Wow!!! What beautiful lambs! I am very happy for you! I am still about 2 weeks out before lambing starts! Was everything smooth for the deliveries? I am so nervous! All my girls are first timers. Have fun!

Brenda Courtney Larson said...

They are adorable, Angie! I really hope I get some whote lambs...so far only black. But, regardless, i love them! Congratulations.

Angie said...

Hi Sandy-
Yes, I was nervous about lambing too! The first ewe (the spotted one) delivered without incident and immediately took excellent care of her lambs. We watched the whole thing from the house.

But the next day the second ewe's waterbag had been broken for well over an hour with no progress so I scrubbed up, did an internal examination and found the lamb way up in the uterus but in correct position. I pulled her a ways and decided I didn't want to do this alone. Called the vet who just happened to be within 2 miles of my house, she came and pulled the lamb, felt for more, said there were none, gave mom a uterine bolus for infection and left.

A few hours later Belle (mama) starts pawing and straining and my 8 year old son says "There's hooves!" Sure enough, the vet was wrong. There was another lamb.

I thought this second lamb would be dead. He was completely encased in the sack and had passed meconium. His tounge was blue. I got him out as quickly (and as gently) as I could, wiped his nose and mouth off and swung him around a bit to stimulate him. He was slow to breathe and when he did come around and he sounded raspy.

But that didnt' last long and he soon was up and searching for something to eat. His mom wasn't sure about him, though.
She butted him away frequently and I thought I'd have a bottle baby on my hands but he found ways of sneaking enough milk to get enough. Very resourceful guy. I supplemented him with a couple ounces a couple times a day to make sure he was topped off but after a couple days he chewed on the nipple and didn't act interested in the bottle. Despite his borderline abusive mother he was gaining weight and his tummy was full.

Now a week later he leads the lamb races every evening. And he comes up to me for a scratch. (He's the white one I'm touching and the one nursing on his mom in the top photo)Mom is much better with him, though not perfect...

Yes, I had some trouble and a bunch of worry but did things I never did before and sure learned a lot. I hope lambing goes well for you. You'll do great and be a better shepherd afterward!


augdog815 said...

WOW, Angie--is there anything you can't do???? You're amazing : )

Congrats on your babies!

country mouse said...

Sorry--I didn't realize Augie was signed in and I commented in his name. Although I think he'd be as impressed as I am and would have said the same thing : )

Storybook Woods said...

Oh my goodness, you posted ;-)
They are so sweet, the pictures do not do them justice. You are such a good mama xoxoxo Clarice

Gumbo Lily said...

Ah Ha! You're back to posting! I'm glad. LOVE those sheep. I've never seen Icelandic sheep before. They have such different wool than ours.
I'm happy for your raising your own wool and lamb meat. Bravo for jumping right in!


Lady Linda said...

Oh Angie. how very exciting. What an adventure. You must continue to post on your blog. I miss you and feel like I'm there for a visit when I can follow you on your blog. Congrats on the lambs.
LaVonne lost her first one this morning and she's so upset. She's been having a really rough time with things this winter into spring. I've been worried about her.
Love ya!