So far this spring, we have had 7 lambs born with no issues. All but one of the mothers was experienced and I found all the lambs either just born or already cleaned and nursing. All 4 ewes managed to have their lambs on nicer weather days, despite it being January and February. That’s the way I like it!
Number 8 decided to come on a single digit temperature day. I could tell his mom, a three year old Tunis ewe named Mini, was getting ready to lamb soon, with a full udder and swollen vulva, but not acting like it yet. At 7 am, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go in and have to deal with a cold wet lamb. My fingers were too stiff, and Mini was happily and calmly eating breakfast in the maternity stall, so I decided to wait. I took an early lunch hour and went home to check her, hoping the lamb had already arrived. No such luck. She looked ready, but not actively laboring so I gloved up. No lamb in position at the opening, so I had to reach in a bit to find the little guy and figure out how he was positioned. At first I found some random legs and was confused and stopped to think. I tried again and after locating the top of a head with ears, I pulled his snout up towards me and into a better position, but he was slippery and I thought I’d see if Mini would take over. I had tried to position his legs better, but he pulled them back from me (a good sign of life), but there was enough wiggle room so that I thought he could probably make it out even if not perfectly positioned. I fed the other sheep an extra bale of hay and got some more hay down for later and when I looked back in, she had a little lamb just out, but was laying down. I cleaned his face up and moved him to Mini’s head to let her lick him a bit while resting. When she got up and fussed like she was uncomfortable or straining, I rubbed him down with a towel to try go get him dry, warmer and invigorated and left them alone again. I went inside and brought out warm water and the little one was up trying to nurse. I checked Mini and her teats had some wax plugging up the holes, so I cleared those up and the lamb started to suck better now. I realized I needed to get back to work. I decided to let things go rather than waiting to see if she had a twin or going in. I didn’t want to interfere with their bonding time and it was so cold, I though it would be better to let her work on one at a time anyway. Also, Alex gets home around 3 and could check on things and let me know if all seemed well. Of course today, he had a ton of homework and never made it out for chores until I got home anyway. I was greeted by the site of Mini and her TWIN rams nursing happily!