Well, it has been a busy, long, sometime sleepless, worrisome last 3 weeks for me. So far, 9 of the 11 ewes have lambed. I spent many an hour checking and then assisting with deliveries this year. Of the 9 deliveries, I have had to assist on 5 of them.
I was fortunate to be here for all the difficult deliveries. Ewes can have 1-3 lambs, but twins seem to be most common. We have 5 sets of twins and 2 singles. When lambs are delivered, they are presented with their forelimbs sticking out in front of them with their head stretched forward and their chin resting on the legs.
Well, I had 5 situations, all different, where this was not what I was presented with. One was trying to deliver 2 at once so they were stuck and not progressing, another had a large breach presentation, another was a very large lamb present upside down and the last were twins each presented differently.
I was able to save all but the worst; the breach and the upside down giant lamb. I was lucky to have saved the ewes and have to accept loss as being natural.
The lambs are doing very well and it is amazing how rapidly they grow. The oldest are 3 weeks old and comparing them to their birth size is almost unbelievable.
They are very fun to watch and very active, social babies. They love to play follow the leader, use their dams as trampolines, head butt and sleep. I enjoy the newborns, assisting in the deliveries ( but would prefer they do it themselves) and then watching them just grow and observing their behavior.
I have always been intrigued by animals’ social behavior. The twins are much more active, social, interactive and demanding of their ewes than the single lambs are. Singes are quieter, more loner types, often off sleeping while the rest play and less bothersome to their dams.
These mothers seem to understand the lambs are content and they will often leave them asleep by themselves somewhere. The mothers to the twins are more nervous, alert and (probably like people with small twins) more fretful and concerned about their lambs.
Maternal instincts are fascinating as well. Each one has distinct personalities and mothering styles. I find it very entertaining and enlightening while others may just feel I spend too much time with the sheep!!
Anyway, I will try to attach a photo album to this entry that will contain numerous new photos. I will keep you posted on the last 2 to lamb. Thanks for reading.