Friday, June 4, 2010

Lambing is finished - can sleep be far off

Like two synchronized swimmers going through their routine, the last of our two ewes lambed simultaneously two days ago. We had what I considered a very successful second lambing season. 10 of the 11 mature ewes lambed out. We do not know whether the 11th ewe caught and lost her lamb or did not catch. With the 10 ewes that lambed we had 18 lambs. One was stillborn but test results showed no obvious cause so it was not a management problem on our part.

Now we can finally sleep through the night. But I am not through fussing about them. Until they are about one week old I always fuss about whether they are nursing enough etc. I worry about infections in the ewe, mastitis etc. OK I just fuss. Thank goodness I didn't have children of my own because I would have driven them and me crazy.

We record tons of information during births so that we can start to recognize norms and when to intervene. I needed to intervene with two births. One where the lamb was backwards with one hoof caught behind the pelvic bone and the second presenting forwards with one leg back. I am pleased to say that both lambs are fine as are the moms.

We also collect other information that is interesting but I don't know how relevant it is. We have had 14 sets of twins. We have only had ewe/ewe twins or ewe/ram twins. In all the mixed sex twins but one, the ram twin was born first. Go figure!

The sheep will all be out on pasture in the next week. And things quiet down to leave us time to hay.