Today began for me with a call from Melinda at 6:30. Lolita was in labor and needed assistance with a breech lamb, and Melinda couldn’t quite maneuver the lamb’s hind feet to pull it out. I dressed and got up to the barn and helped Melinda deliver the first lamb, a big boy, who was followed by another boy and a girl. Lolita is an amazing mother and loved those lambs. All three lambs were vigorous, with good birth weights all around 10 pounds.
We got all the morning chores done, got the ewes out to their pasture and fed, and a few hours later Melinda went up to check the pasture and came back with a lamb in her arms and Nugget following proudly behind her. “Look, a pasture-surprise!” Melinda announced, and Nugget, a wonderfully personable ewe with a quizzical head-tilt, looked so proud and pleased with herself for having this lamb all alone. It was a girl, and Nugget proceeded to deliver two more girls, all white, all “Romnesian” daughters of Mitt the Romney. We are thrilled, because my plan is to keep a lot of our East-Friesian/Romney (“Romnesian”) crosses, and what we are hoping is that they will have Romney hardiness with East Friesian personalities. And there is no East Friesian in our flock with more personality than Nugget–she is everyone’s favorite. So these three girls will be very promising founders for our cross-bred flock. The girls look so much alike and were so similar in birth-weight that we had to put colored dots on their heads to tell them apart. Nugget has a ton of milk so will be very capable of raising all of them. She is also a fierce and protective mother.
A bit later in the afternoon, I went up to check the pasture and found Starlet waiting at the gate. We had felt that Starlet was imminent for days, and she seemed to be saying: “I would feel better if I were a bit closer to the hospital.” So I let her into the grassy yard in front of the barn and she found a shady corner and curled up. A short while later I went out to check on her and she was delivering her first lamb. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and Starlet had picked a corner of the yard that actually has an ocean view! So lovely. She definitely has taste. She delivered two sturdy lambs outside, a black and white boy and girl, and when they seemed like they might be getting chilled, I brought mother and lambs into the barn, and put them in a jug. A while later, Melinda went to feed Starlet some alfalfa and noticed a white puddle behind her–a third lamb! This little girl has some issues, maybe due to being squished in an awkward position in utero. Her front feet are curled up and one front knee is very loose also…she is going to need some splinting and physical therapy, but we have successfully saved worse.