Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Surprise Triplets Born on Canadian Thanksgiving

In my last blog post I mentioned we just got a ram for the fall breeding season and had suspected some of our ewes were already pregnant... well as it turns out we were right!

Canadian Thanksgiving was October 8, 2012. Thankfully I had the day off work. Just days before we had got our new ram as normally sheep come into heat in the fall and mate to produce lambs in the spring. In the last month though I have been observing that three of our ewes appeared pregnant. I suspected they had been bred in the spring before our last ram was sold, while they still had their lambs with them.

Sure enough on Thanksgiving day one of the ewes gave birth, not just to one or two lambs, she had triplets. Earlier in the day I had seen the sheep and was just about to go looking for her as it appeared she was not with them, but she was there, just a bit behind everyone else, so I gave it no more thought. Then later that day I went out to check the sheep and noted her missing. I saw all the others, so went to the barn to look for the missing ewe (her name is Girlie). I found Girlie in the old barn with two lambs (one black, one white) standing at her side and a third one (black) laying down. 

 Even though it is fall and the weather is okay (breezy but not as cold as winter) I did not want to leave them in that barn overnight. Small lambs are an easy target for coyotes and some have been coming around to get our crab apples (and possibly even killed a cat a week earlier). The old barn is small, leans to one side and does not have a door. Instead I picked them up and their momma followed me to the newer barn (which is still old, but at least it has a door, and proper stalls). I put them into a stall that as coincidence had it I had just prepared the day earlier in expectation of fall lambs.

My daughter came out to help dry the lambs off (in the top photo) and make sure all were doing well. We gave them water, hay, and then came back inside where my husband had our Thanksgiving dinner ready and waiting.

Further reading

Supplies needed for Lambing

How to Care for Newborn Lambs

One down.. two more to go.. and today it is snowing (lightly - but windy).

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