Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Another Girl!

Last night at bedtime check around 10:00, Suzy, one of the merino x twins was laying around and kinda twitching. Nothing much noticeable unless you were looking for something. So I vowed to get up sometime in the middle of the night and check on her (I've made a similar vow all week, but hadn't kept it!).

At 2:00 a.m. I got my act together, staggered out of bed, ignored all the animals (if you say something to them, then they think its time to get up and play or something!), and went out to see what was going on. I could see a shiny white blob up between the hay bale and the barn. Suzy had delivered! She was engaged with the wee one, and things seemed to be going fine. I wasn't sure she was finished, so I didn't go to close. Now with most of the others, I will get up close and not worry about it. But these two (Suzy and Melody) are rather silly girls and a bit on the wild side, and since this is their first lambing, I sure didn't want to interfere with the bonding process.

So back into the house I went, flopped into the bed and tried to sleep. I dozed off and on, and worried for a couple of hours, then finally got up at 4:30, so I could see how things were going and get them settled in their jug. It takes a little bit to get them set up in the jugs---fresh bedding, fresh water for momma, and after the baby(ies) are dry and things are relaxed a good flake of hay for the ewe. When I put them in the jugs, that is when I also dip the lamb(s) navel in iodine, give it a couple ccs of Nutri-drench orally, and check the ewes udder, making sure she has milk and that the teats aren't still blocked with the wax plugs. I also make sure that the lambs have found the 'milk bar' and are nursing well.

Suzy is a bit ditsy about standing for the baby to nurse, although she seems to be an attentive, interested mom. I spent some time working to get them 'connected' and making sure the little one had nursed. Hopefully Suzy will settle down during the day.

Then it was off to find the afterbirth (quite difficult in the dark!) and dispose of that. I fed the other sheep earlier than normal, just to get them to quit yelling at me.

I ended up coming to work a little early, since I was ahead of schedule and its possible I might have to leave early, if any lambing problems come up.

Melody should be due anytime now. Suzy and Melody are always together--so after I got Suzy in the jug with her little girl, I fixed it so Melody could come in and eat her grain in the stall next to them. I've been feeding these two together separate from the others for several weeks. Sounded like a good plan--but when I called them in---Melody wasn't having anything to do with going near her sister! Uh uh. I guess there was some unspoken rule that she couldn't go near her and possibly be accused of lamb-napping.

Three ewes done and five to go!

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