Archive for March, 2010

‘Tis a mystery…

March 27, 2010

I don’t dock jacob tails: the sheep are smart enough to know to lift them…and I think that jacobs, in particular, look strange with docked tails.  That’s probably because no one I know in NewEngland docks tails, so that’s what I’m used to.  But there are always exceptions.  Huntsberger Deirdre had a single ewe lamb last night, 8 lb.  All was fine…but when I went to check on her after an hour, the lower half of the lamb’s tail was all bloody…Okay, I thought, she’s been moving between her mother’s legs and mother still hadn’t dumped her afterbirth; it’s common for lambs to be decorated in red.  I wiped it off.  Two hours later, I went out, and her tail was all bloody again.  By then, it was dark, but I figured she must have sat on Mama’s afterbirth, which was in a pile nearby.  I cleaned up the afterbirth, cleaned up the tail, examined it as well as I could in the sparse light in the shed, and went inside.  I went out two hours later, and lo and behold, the tail was all bloody again.  Not able to find any injury, no evidence of the lamb bleeding rectally, (and besides, it was only the lower half of the tail).  Hm…I thought, what now?  Well, I knew if you banded the tail, it would cut off circulation in the lower half of the tail.  It seemed the prudent thing to do, so I banded off the lower half of the tail.  This morning, no more blood.  It will be light enough soon for me to go out and check to see if there was some sort of injury or not.  But the lamb has stopped bleeding, anyway, and is happy, as is Mama, who has passed her 24 hours of being me-friendly, and stomped her foot at me, when I came near. (This ewe will have nothing to do with me until she’s in labor, when she becomes fairly friendly.  Then, when the baby is about 8-12 hours old, she stomps her foot again, suggesting I am a lower life form and had best stay away from her and her lamb(s).  Amusing.  I don’t take it personally. This sheep was one of the ones brought up feral, on an island off the coast of Maine.  She is not sure people in any form are worth knowing, much less befriending.

No new lambs last night.  Good. My hope is that they will wait til tomorrow afternoon, or late this afternoon, once the grands are here.  I’d love it if they could see a lamb born…and am hoping that none of the remaining ewes will have any problems, so their first experience of lambing is positive and not scary.  The only one I’m even a tad worried about is the black coopworth, who is a first time mom, bred as a lamb.  I think only one of the two black coopworths exposed actually settled.  Time will tell.  The second is big enough but isn’t showing many of the characteristic signs of late pregnancy.

Company for dinner, making chicken pot pie this afternoon. This morning, I’ve made lamb and barley soup and am about to make corn chowder and rutabaga soup, most to freeze in containers which will give us soup for lunch each day…Son and daughter in law and hopefully, oldest grandchild (who may be in Florida with his Dad’s family) will be up the end of the week and here for Easter. It will be the first holiday meal I’ve cooked in many years, since John’s mother went to Cedar Hill.  We had every holiday meal there with her.  It will be fun to cook a big meal.   And doubly fun to have the little grands (10 and 8) here for a week.

And if you are journeying through Holy Week, I wish you a blessed journey, filled with insight and holiness, and a joyous Easter at the end of the tunnel.

Lambs, lambs, lambs…

March 26, 2010

Well, I tried to post yesterday, but somehow as I tried to publish it, it disappeared, so I’ll try again today…

For the past two days, lambs have been coming at an extraordinary rate. Generally, one ewe a day goes into labor, but it must have been an interesting Fall, because two days ago, two ewes delivered, then yesterday, three, and one this morning, so far…

Here are some photos…

The above are Turtle and her twins. The little girl is way too dark to be registered,but maybe someone will want a nice dark fleece on a sheep, and not want to register…otherwise…lambchops….

Both coopworths have delivered twins.  Octavia had one ewe, one ram; Lydia had two ram lambs…cute but definitely meat.  Here’s a photo of one of them, Octavia, I think…

And then, there is Dorcas, with her single ram lamb:

And, then Fine Fettle Jacqueline and her twin ram lambs:

Then, this morning, I went out to find Amanda hovering over a sweet tiny ewe lamb, and a little ram lamb, who had evidently wandered off by himself,shivering, cold, and not cleaned off.  His ears were cold, but more importantly, his tongue was cold, so I milked out mama of about 2 oz. of colostrum, brought him inside and put him next to the woodstove in a towel, and coaxed the colostrum into him.  Then after a half hour, repeated the process. This time, he was most eager and drank it down with gusto.  A half hour after that,he was all warmed up,and I took him back to his mama.  He went right over to her and started to search for milk…all is well.

The little ewe is in front.  She is adorable.

Now, I need to go out and check on them again,hoping there won’t be any more lambs today.  My grandkids are coming tomorrow, and I’d really like them to get to see some lambs born.  The way these girls have been popping though…

Well, I’m pretty well decided to keep Hepzibah (the only one I’ve named so far), one of the first twin ewes born.  That leaves me with 3 ewe lambs so far, one of whom is not registerable.   Hopefully, the remaining four ewes will have some good looking girls!

Like a flash…

March 21, 2010

It seems like it was only yesterday when I last posted…but time has gone by like a flash…what a month it has been…Between the last Saturday in February and a week ago, so much has happened. John’s mother, who was 91, sickened and died. We lost power for four days…in the middle of both of us having diarrhea flu…(thank God for generators to repressurize the water so we could flush toilets!), John had cataract surgery, and then we were off to Pa. for the funeral…It was a busy time, and we just got back to “normal” (or as normal as it ever is around here…and it was time for shearing.  That happened on Monday, and went smoothly.  With a “staff” of eight, plus me, working on shearing day, and then having lunch together, it was a fun time.  And so, I said to myself, “I have til the 25th of March to get lambing supplies ready, clean out the part of the shed I use for lambing jugs, order stuff, and rest up…or so I thought.  We got home from church today to find that Allison had twin ewe lambs while we were gone…the first lambs of the season.  So, I know it is really Spring.  Here are the little lambs, who weighed in at 5-1/2 and 5 pounds, respectively.

So, one ewe “popped”, 13 more to go…I’ll keep you posted.

Two of the grandkids are coming on Saturday for a week. Hopefully, they’ll get to see some lambs born…


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