Thursday, July 11, 2013

Three Different Lambs, a Summer Surprise

Last fall, in October, three of our ewes gave birth to lambs.  We knew that two of them had been rebred and they had their lambs in April, but it did not look like the third ewe had been rebred.  Sheep are pregnant for 5 months and we had been told the ewes of most breeds only come into heat in the fall, so the fact that we had October lambs was already a surprise.

At any rate, we thought we were in the clear with the other ewe and as such were just getting on with the summer.  We have had rain almost non-stop and the pasture has grown so tall we almost do not see the sheep at all.

We went away for four days and when we came back I noticed Girlie sheep suddenly looked different.  While she did not look pregnant, her udder seemed fuller.  The next day I was out filling  up the water and she was missing.  I found her in the old barn, she had three little lambs with her.

I went to get my husband to help me get them into the barn, I also wanted to grab the camera!  My husband picked up the lambs and carried them towards our larger barn, which I thought would be a better place for them to spend their first night.

Girlie has had triplets in the past but never produced enough milk for all and we have always had to supplement one by bottle feeding.  As such it was a good idea to get her into the barn so we could check that too, and give her a bit of oats.

She has a black ewe lamb, a brown ewe lamb (the smallest lamb) and a larger white and brown ram lamb.

Well that was all just over a week ago.  She is so far doing great with the three lambs.  I did have a bit of an awkward moment though...

On the second day I noticed a bit of her placenta was still hanging out of her (and covered in feces too).  I called the veterinarian.  It was July 1, which is Canada Day here (a holiday).  He suggested I could fix this myself, I just had to wash my hands really well, cover one hand with vegetable oil, and go insider her to gently remove it, and to feel just in case she had another lamb still inside.  He said since she was still eating and acting normal it was not an emergency in which he needed to come.  So... ya, I did that, while my husband held her, and thankfully there was no fourth lamb and I got the placenta out okay.