I'm back from Hawaii and back at work. My brain is still on vacation. I have lots of catching up to do, but until then, I just wanted to share this lovely addition to our flock!
I was quite surprised this morning when I took Jip out for a walk around the yard. He walked near the sheep pasture and startled the ewes and when they started running, I spotted a little lamb running with them! I didn't even take a second look before I ran with Jip on the leash to put him in the house and grab our lambing kit. For the last few weeks a canvas bag containing iodine, lamb nutrients, and long plastic gloves (may I never have to use them) has been waiting patiently on our back porch for the arrival of this year's lambs. I grabbed a pair of dull scissors, the bottle of iodine, a Rt. 66 shot glass, the bottle of nutridrench, and my cell phone. Once in the barnyard I was able to see that the lamb belonged to Margaret, who protectively stomped her foot when I came near, and that the lamb was a girl! I picked up the lamb so that her mama would follow and put them into the lambing pen inside the barn. Despite all of Margaret's feisty stomping, I was able to grab baby and trim her umbilical cord and dip it in iodine and get a shot of nutridrench in her mouth for some energy and nutrients.
Then I had to call Joey and tell him about the new baby in the barnyard. And text my mom, dad, and sister. My Dad asked if I had named her yet, and I told him no, so he chose the name April. Next, I got fresh water for Margaret and some hay for her to eat and let them be for a while. When I found the lamb this morning, she was already dried off and on her feet but I wasn't sure if she had drank milk yet. Usually when lamb's are full, their bellies are round and they look less wrinkly and she didn't look very full. But when I peeked through the window at them later, the lamb was under her mom, with her little tail wagging. Usually the lamb's tail wagging is a good indication that they are getting milk.
When I get home from work today I will have to get in the pen with Margaret and make sure that her udders are clear of wool and actually producing milk. She's so stompy that I wanted to give her a while before I actually try to get up in her business. Last year, Margaret lambed twins, a boy and a girl and the girl only survived a few days. We weren't sure what happened, if she wasn't getting enough milk, or if she was just not healthy when she was born, but she never thrived and wouldn't even take a bottle of milk replacer. So hopefully we have better luck with this little girl. It's great to add another ewe to the flock since we lost Phyllis earlier this year.
I'm so glad the ewes waited until I was back from vacation to start lambing...even if it is really late in the season! Hopefully Jip will start behaving better now that I am back home...I got some bad behavior reports from Joey while I was gone.