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.