Wednesday night we spent the evening in the greenhouse with Norma. She is one of our older ewes, and even though she usually lambs with the greatest of ease, I was concerned because she was having contractions and pushing without evidence of a water bag being out. She really struggled. We knew she was probably having a big lamb, and we were right. Her first ewe was 14 pounds! Number 2 ewe shot out without her even giving it any notice, with a more normal sized ewe at 9 lbs. Both blue with teardrops. Norma and the girls were doing fine when we got to bed around midnight.
The next morning I could barely move (we are all getting colds again!) and when I checked on the new babies I was a little concerned. Their temperatures were not up to the usual 102.2, and the smaller of the two had a temp of only 100.8 (I checked because she was standing hunched over in the jug and putting my finger in her mouth she didn’t feel warm enough). Added to that, Norma didn’t seem to have a lot of milk. So we are treating her for a little bit of milk fever, and we did offer the lambs some milk replacer, but their temperatures are up to normal now and they are refusing the bottles. The bigger of the two has gained a pound and the smaller girl must have lost weight and regained. This morning she was exactly 9 pounds, her birthweight, and this evening she is 9 lbs. 6 oz. I am holding onto that thought! Norma is mothering them well, so I think it will be alright.
We will keep weighing the lambs to make sure they are making gains. Most of our lambs gain 1/2 lb or more a day (usually more). This had been planned as Norma’s last year with us. And she gave us two gorgeous ewes! Way to go, Norma :*)
I have a particularly sentimental feeling toward her. She is one of the first 3 lambs that we bought when we began our farm here in Maine. She has produced twins every year and only needed help lambing once. Never had a problem with anything else, just ate, produced beautiful fleeces, and made lambs. What a great ewe!