A third ewe birthed yesterday, it was not easy for her and she had surprise ram/ewe twins. The ram’s horn buds were really stuck in there and he had to be pulled out by my husband. She’s our other first-timer and she managed to do ok with the ewe that followed very unexpectedly (my husband was worried it was a prolapse until it became clear it was just another bag and lamb), but I think we have a new fiber wether if he gets his feet today.
I was up all night with him, he is pretty loud, which is a good sign, so that’s all for now.
I checked on all of them this morning and the little ewe lamb looked a little wan, so I reached out to gently poke her to stand up as I had yesterday and she jumped up, ran for her dam and immediately nursed.
If they can run from you, things are probably fine. And they both already figured out how to do that. The new mother hasn’t cleared up all her placenta, but that is not so uncommon. It’s just lying around, and the black and tan ewe herself doesn’t look bad and was eating with typical vigor when I showed up.
These lambs are still less than 24 hours old, but it looks good from here.
Our black and tan ewe (we didn’t get around to naming everyone just yet, haha) just finished birthing a pair of evening lambs. We are monitoring right now, the ewe looked a little weak, but a small poke on my part and she got up and wobbled over to the udder, so it looks like both probably got some colostrum. We’ll be back out around 8pm to see if they still look good. We may delay dipping the cords until tomorrow, the first set of twins did ok with the wait.
For this ewe, it’s the first lambing and the mothering instincts are a little nervous. The other ewes have left plenty of room and Bucky, the father is pacing away in the ram pen, which is still kind of cute and charming.
This is going to be a restless night, but both the ram and the ewe lamb look pretty sturdy. Here’s hoping.
We had to dip the cords in iodine, so that meant actually catching both lambs. We have two little mostly-white rams, they look quite a bit like their sire.
Found out having two sexually mature rams in with the ewes equals one hassled new mother. So we will separate the rams when the flock returns to the barn once it gets dark. Live and learn. The other ewes figured out what we wanted to do and have been separating the almost-adult rams themselves most of the evening, but we’ll make it official before bed.
It’s been a challenging day. And another ewe looks like she might lamb tomorrow. We’ll see. And we’ll see how the newest little ram lambs do overnight. Hopefully very well, they can run like the wind already.
Both lambs and their mother are now out in the main pasture and Bucky, the father, is actually showing fatherly behavior, gently nudging one of the lambs back towards mom when it tries foolishly to get milk from him. Both lambs were able to run, and the one I thought was on the weak side climbed right over a big branch the sheep use for hoof scratching. They both also got through the muddy entrance to the barn (yes, we put straw down, but it’s just a lost cause with all the rain we get).
So I have a little quick food ready, and will make up a bottle if need be, but they both look ok. I haven’t tried to touch the lambs or the ewe, although before bedtime husband and I will try to catch her for a quick udder check. She isn’t showing any signs that there’s inflammation or soreness, but if we can grab her for a quick once-over, that wouldn’t hurt.
And now I will try to not create a cause for intervention and let the lambs and ewe hang out for a couple hours and get more settled. It’s hard to remember that going up to ogle them is also a form of needless interfering if they are getting along.
The flock is very protective and extremely gentle with the new lambs. No sheep is butting the lambs or making the mother nervous/defensive. It’s really interesting, I had no idea what to expect as far as flock behavior.
My only worry is the seasonal flooding the pasture gets, but I think the sheep can keep the lambs safe, as they’ve been avoiding the flooded area on their own for quite a while now.
Two little white lambs out of the grey ewe I am always fretting about. She only has one working udder (shearing accident took out the other one), but she’s previously nursed twins with no issues.
The lambs look pretty fresh, both are standing up and didn’t look weak or wobbly and seemed to know where the milky udder was, so I am going to give them a little time right now while I take some time to wake up myself. She ignored all the fresh dry straw we put out in favor of the soggy grass (it was pouring rain all night long), which is just so typical for sheep.
Still waiting on the other three ewes, though. Bucky, Shaft and the other ewes are being very protective. Not so I couldn’t get to the new mother and lambs, but definitely not their usual (lack of) flocking behavior. Icelandics tend to have poor flocking, but our experience has been they remember how when they think the flock needs protection.
It’s a pretty special day, hopefully the lambs continue to have a good start.