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.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Grand Finale....Rouen's Turn

Rouen, the little Monkey Girl. Notice her ears have turned all grey around the edges? silly old girl. This was suppose to be your year off to rest up and pamper yourself. After all, you aren't a youngster anymore!

Obviously Rouen didn't agree to the year off thing. I really wasn't sure if she was pregnant or not, although she was on the 'possibles' list from Just Jack's second break out. When I vaccinated and wormed everyone back at the first of March, she really looked iffy. I did begin to suspect though, since she had become extremely affectionate and she just had that heavy plodding gait the preggies get towards the end.

The secret was out, when she was set on her rear for shearing. No doubt about it, lambs were coming and not too long about it. Sure explains why the old gal wasn't as crafty and elusive as she normally is during shearing...

I had her possible due date as sometime over the weekend, but then so was Blackberry's and she had lambed the day of shearing. For some reason, I was extremely worried about her and lambing. Had a bad feeling about it all. I hate to have them sheared that close to lambing for one thing, another was her age, (She is nine this year) and I guess things had gone so well in lambing, that I figured the jig was up. Or maybe I was just running on three cylinders by then.

After shearing day there followed two nights of very little sleep, as Rouen messed with my mind. Shearing was on Wednesday. By Thursday she had begun to isolate herself. Something she does two days in advance as a norm, but I still couldn't talk myself into relaxing about it. I was up and down almost all of Thursday night, checking on her, because she was 'acting weird'. As was my imagination.

One time as I stumbled half asleep out to the barn, the beam from my feeble flashlight picked out a dark sheepie form, lying with neck stretched out...with what looked like a little lamb head sticking out her nether regions. My heart dropped as I took in the all too still forms. The last few steps to the barn were taken in a rush...scaring poor Lark and her daughter Eve half to death. Eve was nicely tucked up next to her mom's bottom, safe and secure for the night. Until the crazy shepherd lady scared everyone half silly! Lark is Rouen's daughter, and while dark brown instead of black, they are built much the same, so, it was a reasonable, if regrettable mistake, right?

Ewe Lamb One--Only a few hours old

Other times, Rouen would be 'nesting'--digging deep holes in the straw, or she would grunt and groan and stagger around. Then I'd go out a few hours later and there she would be, chewing cud and looking all serene.

I only work half days on Fridays, and still I had this dread about Rouen, so it was a long four hours. Rouen had been secreted in the barn when I left, but no obvious signs of labor were evident.

Imagine my relief when I got home, and the first thing I saw as I went to the barn, was four tiny legs standing behind her! Even better when I got up there, she had another little lamb already dry and napping. Rouen outdid herself with two pretty little black ewe lambs with nice krunets. I was so happy they were ewes, and so very happy that the old gal had once again lambed successfully.
Ewe Lamb One Again...Enjoying the Sunshine

I brought her a bucket of water and some hay and she was very thirsty and hungry. I doubt she had eaten much for the two days she was 'thinking' about lambing.
Rouen alarmingly deflated after lambing! Here she quenches her thirst.

Ewe Lamb Number Two, Peeking out from Behind Rouen

So lambing was over for another year, and it was a good way to end. I'll try and get a post up on lambing statistics and all the what nots here in a few days. I think for the first time in years I did not see one lamb born! But that is okay...I'd much rather find them up and dry and nursing. Good job all around, girls!

Newly Born Sisters Gravitate to the Warm Sunshine

Extended Family...Rouen in back with her two new ewe lambs and Rouen's daughter Duckie and her two lambs


Wrensong Farm said...

What a relief it must be that your lambing is done and the finale being a set of beautiful ewe lambs! How perfect!!

My girls are tormenting me, I think today is the day, more lambing, but I swear they are just laughing at me and are going to hold out until I'm crazy (or crazier than I am already!) :)

Vicki Lane said...

... and all's well that ends well!

Congratulations on surviving!

Berte said...

What a story.. and a happy ending as well. There's nothing sweeter than to welcome new life to the farm.
RiverBend Farm

kristi said...

What a great way to end lambing season with twin ewes!! I am jealous as I am having all rams this year! The girls look wonderful Tammy!!

Tammy said...

Wrensong, Lambing is so hard--it's exciting, awesome and scary all at once..not to mention how they 'torture us'.
Thanks Kristi, I'm glad you are ending your lambing with ewe lambs, gullies no less!