Yesterday was a slow day with no lambs born for the second day in a row. We only had one family in the jugs: Flake and her twins, born on Friday. I caught up on work and Lisa and I took a break to try one of my “lamb sweaters”on little Frieda the “Friedale,” Billie Jean’s daughter, and our only Corriedale-East Friesian cross lamb we will have this season. I made the sweaters in case we have lambs that are chilled and that we need to keep warm. Frieda doesn’t fall into that category, but she is small and cute and we were feeling exhausted and silly. She seemed to love the sweater, so we left it on her overnight.
Lisa had a quiet night; none of the seven ewes left to lamb seemed imminent. Melinda fed the lambs this morning and put the ewes out with no sense we would be lambing today. She and I ear-tagged Flake’s two lambs and put that family with the mixing group out on pasture. The jugs were empty for the first time this season. Then around noon I was at the house on a conference call when Melinda sent me this photo:
I thought–gee, Melinda’s photos are usually spectacular, and this one is nice, but not as wonderful as the ones she usually sends. But that lamb does look pretty pleased with himself. And pretty newborn. And that black ewe is … wearing a coat! So it had to be one of our Corriedale yearlings, none of whom had lambed yet. Melinda confirmed that it was, number 278. Melinda had been cleaning the chicken run when she looked up in the pasture and saw 278 with her lamb, already born. By the time she got there, mother and lamb were well-bonded. Melinda carried the lamb back to the barn, and he called repeatedly, keeping his mother following behind. Great news for a first-time mother, an unassisted delivery and good mothering skills. The lamb was a 12.5 lb boy, a single. Melinda put him and his mom into a jug and both are doing well.
Then a few hours later, when I was getting epsom salts ready to soak my horse’s sore foot, I heard very loud baaing outside the tack room in the barn. I couldn’t believe that 278 was making that much noise, and opened the door to see Melinda with three lambs in her arms, and Una agitatedly following her and baaing. Melinda had checked the pasture to find Una in the shelter with triplets already born. They are the last of my 100% East Friesians, and I’m sad to report that there are two boys and a girl–so I have fewer ewe lambs to sell than I had hoped. But some very nice ram lambs. We settled Una into a “triplet suite” and she got busy feeding and loving her lambs. Now there are only 5 ewes left to lamb, and as Lisa was bringing them into the barn for the evening, one of the other Corriedales looked like she might be in early labor, and Scooter and Good Girl were very bagged up and also looking imminent. Lisa’s night shifts end on Wednesday–it may be too much to hope for that these last 5 ewes lamb in the next 2 days!