Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baby Katahdin Scares, then has Lambs Days Later

Baby Katahdin, our youngest ewe - being born last year, and the only one who would be a first time mother, is a shy sheep.  She is a bit smaller and was terrified of us earlier in the year.  Throughout the winter she has slowly learned how to trust us (the oats helped) but is easily intimidated by the bigger sheep who push her out of the way at feeding time. 

She has been thin - so I have been hand feeding her extra oats.  Two nights ago, however, she started choking on her oats, to the point it looked like she was a gonner.. she was frothing at the mouth and stood frozen, clearly in fear.  I gave her a hard smack on  her shoulder hoping to clear her throat.  Well the poor sheep must have thought I was horrible, but after a few tense moments she was fine.

Today, March 19, 2011, I went outside to give the sheep some hay for lunch, this is because our weather has been crazy this winter and we still have over a foot of snow on the ground and it gives them something to do in the middle of these winter days – eat. Finally we are seeing temperatures around the freezing mark, or just above – today was +1C (just above melting).

At the time I could see Girlie was in the shed with her two young lambs (just over a week old) and with her was Baby Katahdin – and just above the snow drift I could see a tiny white head pop up so I knew she had a lamb.

I went into the house to call my daughter for help. It's never easy getting one sheep and her lambs into the barn in the middle of the day. We spotted a darker lamb laying near by – shivering – both were still wet, born only minutes earlier. It took some doing but we finally got them into the barn (and chased the other sheep back out).

My daughter dried off the lambs, while I got their mother some water - ewes often need a good drink after lambing and this one was no exception. 

Having twins for their first year is not easy, she seems to be mothering both though and hopefully will have enough milk to provide for them - as she has been thin and does not have a huge udder - this is a concern!

The white lamb is a male - ram lamb.  The brown one is a female - ewe lamb. 

So that brings our total to 18 lambs - 9 male, 9 female, a perfect split!