Today we had a very lovely send-off for two of our 2011 lambs. They are going up state toward Greenville to live on another farm. I am so very pleased to have been able to sell a few lambs this year for breeding stock. Most of our lambs go to meat, which is good also, but it’s nice to think that some of our babies will be leading good lives elsewhere, as we can’t keep them all (unfortunately!).
We had separated out some of the ewe lambs and one ram lamb for inspection. Our visitor was looking for the brownest or blackest lambs available. So we pulled Fuzzy Lumpkin’s, Lupine’s and HoneyBea’s ewe lambs as well as one of Mae’s ram lambs. I chose the longest and the darkest boy with a beautiful face and nice hams. Gorgeous fleece as well. She chose Fuzzy Lumpkin’s ewe and liked the ram lamb as well. I hope that they do well for her. One of her friends had driven down with her and they had a very large dog crate for the lambs to travel in. They seemed happy enough once they were both in there together and off they went! A new adventure for numbers 106 and 112.
Mae is finally up and looking quite a bit better today. Her ears are not drooping and she has been eating steadily all morning. We will have to keep treating her for the milk fever, but I hope she is as on the mend as she seems to be.
We let Lupine and her gigundas lamb out this morning as well as Bonbel and her two petite twin does. They frolicked in the sun and then each of the doelings cozied up with some lambs. That was a surprise!
After I fed everyone breakfast this morning I couldn’t find Rhubarb. She was off in the corner in labor. So we moved her into her own pen and she proceeded to have triplets! The last one was breach which I couldn’t see until she pretty much had her out under her own steam. I only had to help a little. Two white doelings and a brown buck. She did a great job as usual. Wow. What a day! And it’s only a little after noon.
It certainly has been a challenging week. I have not had a minute to update the last few days. The jugs continue to be full of spunky new babies. Yesterday morning Shlomit, our second first time mom, had a single ram lamb (11.5 lbs) and then just walked away from him. I didn’t see it happen, but I think that Persimmon interfered because she was standing over him when I got in there. We penned the new mother with her not-so-little guy and proceeded to torture her by holding her head and making her let the lamb on for a meal. I don’t think that she has changed her mind about him yet, so he gets his meals when she is up and busy with food. I guess I am going to have to watch him closely to see if he gets enough milk. She has a nice udder, so technically he should grow like hot cakes!
Then of course our old girl, Mae, is not in such great shape. She just had to go and give us triplets. We are treating her for milk fever and supplementing her smallest ram lamb with a bottle, but I don’t know how she will progress. Day 2 of the treatment with calcium gluconate and propylene glycol (to give her energy, appetite, and also to replace some of the calcium that she lost making those triplets and the milk for them). Along with vitamins I am hoping she can do enough healing to get through. Poor girl. She has been one of the most difficult ewes to handle through the years (she is big and strong and has taken more than one of us on a ride) but also one of the most self-reliant and hardy, and she has made us a lot of beautiful lambs.
This morning when I went out to feed the multitude I saw that Fuzzy Lumpkin had totally dropped and her backside was looking very droopy and pink. As I was finishing up with feeding all the moms in the pens, giving everyone water, admiring the playful lambs and goat kids, she walked away from the feeder and lay down in the greenhouse. So I made her get up and I penned her. She didn’t have a waterbag out, nor did she appear to be in true labor, so I came back to the house to get things ready and get warm. That was 9:30… and at 10:40 I went out to check on her and she had had both her lambs! The white ewe (14 lbs) was all cleaned off and she was working on the black ewe. They are beauties! No problem getting them to nurse and the black ewe had a lovely nice poop to prove that all systems were working a little while later.
It’s nice and sunny today, so hunkering down in the greenhouse is a pretty nice place to be. If the wind would die down it would be almost warm.
I like seeing Fuzzy and Lupine together in their jugs, side by side. They have been best buddies since they were born and they are still two of the best mothers we have. As for the rest of the crew, we have HoneyBea and Kate for the still expectant ewes and Rhubarb and SnowPea for the does. I think Rhubarb and the two ewes will birth their bunch over the weekend. Not sure about SnowPea. She got re-bred a few times, but her belly is sure looking big enough! If she waits a little bit it would definitely be better for our overcrowded greenhouse :*)
I had a really tough day with my eye, but we did have another set of triplets from Mae (who wasn’t supposed to be bred this year she is so old!) and then we had an adventure with Lupine, one of our crossbred white ewes. John had to pull her 17 pound ewe (that may be a record for us). Lupine had the head out before we even knew what had happened as we were busy with Mae and her boys. When we realized what was going on we knew that the big ewe’s legs were either back or elbow-locked, but she was so big I couldn’t even reach and find a shoulder. John finally followed one of her legs back and was able to pull it forward. It took forever to get that beauty out, and I was afraid we had lost her, but she is doing well tonight. The bottle boys are on the loose with the first goat kids and both of their moms. The jugs are full and we are really hoping for a quiet night tonight! More pictures tomorrow…
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!