Lambing Season

So much for the weather forecast: a beautiful day, temps approaching 60 F and sunny. Now it's supposed to rain and get cold tonight: I'll believe it when I see it.

"Snot-nose" (ewe #88) had her single this morning: and it was a difficult birth. Kevyn came over to help, very glad that we'd decided to do this in the right season, and not in January when it was -20 F! Believe it or not, that's when most modern shepherds "schedule" their lambing. Why? It's utterly beyond me!

The ewe lamb lived, and so did mom. It was presented head first, but with three legs tucked under and behind. Kevyn (and Kris) literally pushed the poor little girl back into mom, turned her around and tried to get her out right. But when it became apparent that she was still alive and gasping for air, Kevyn decided to just drag her out as it - and it worked! The only problem was that her tongue had swollen, and she couldn't get a good grip on the nipple to nurse. But that problem is subsiding as the swelling goes down, and tonight she's doing fine. No pix, however - with six more due in the next few days, if I posted photos of each I'd run out of space on my drive! Ha!

But I'm more convinced than ever that we made the right choice in breeds with the Scottish Blackface: they're tough as nails, have a great mothering instinct and are pretty damn smart (for sheep). Snot-nose was just about as calm an animal as you could ask for while we worked frantically on her - no wild, bucking and pushing bullshit from her. I've heard horror stories from other shepherds about Suffolks and how difficult they are at lambing. In fact, Kevyn commented this moring that had we been dealing with a Suffolk this morning, both mom and lamb would be dead.

I've been many things over the course of the last forty seven years, but I never expected to become an ovine obstetrician.

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