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!
In that order. Although I am slow on the uptake and not blogging about the big storm until a few days later, but it’s just one of those things!
Here in Maine we didn’t get the snow that our friends in the NY/NJ area got (sorry Kris and Barb!), but on the Maine coast we were pounded with 45-90 mph winds and some of the worst downpours I have ever seen. One weather person was saying that we might get up to 6″ of rain during the day last Friday. I think we must have, roads washed out and lakes appeared in all sorts of unlikely spots. Thursday night about 10 pm we lost power, which isn’t such a hardship anymore since we have a really honking, lovely Honda generator. That baby is set up to make a few lights keep working, but more importantly, to keep our freezers and our water & heat functioning. Running a farm for days with no power is a real pain if you have to keep traveling to town to get gerry cans full of water. For yourselves and for the animals! (A few years back we spent 6 days of our April school vacation without water or electricity. Ugh. Definitely not a vacation!). So we chugged along and had a non-snow snowday on Friday as no one anywhere around had power. At one point we really couldn’t get there from here as down the road in one direction were trees down on wires, and in the other direction the same thing. I don’t mind staying indoors in that kind of weather! And we did get a return to official Central Maine Power sometime late in the day on Friday. The thing that I have been most grateful for is the fact that it never got very cold during this whole weather happening. Over the weekend we did get some hints of sun popping out from behind the clouds as well. The layers of ice in the paddocks are starting to breakup, and so much water is running off the hill that it made gorges in the ice layers underneath the straw, poopy mud and hay leavings.
Very messy. Mud season may be coming early. Even last night’s heavy snow won’t last long… I hope! Now if these high winds would just cut it out already, we would be able to get this show on the road! 6 days and counting to our first lambs!!!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!