More than a third done, and mostly girls!

Neva with her lamb

We’ve been busy! Smoke, another Corriedale ewe, lambed later on the 20th, after Soot. Smoke had twins, both black girls. Lisa assisted, but Smoke did it mostly on her own. Four days later, on Monday, Melinda got to the barn at 5:00 to find Ruth, one of our Romnesian girls, with a single white girl, the first white lamb of the season! Melinda had checked the camera at 4:00 but somehow missed Ruth’s labor, and Ruth, a first-time mother, had it all taken care of by 5:00. Chocolate Lily, our black Romnesian, lambed later that day with a black girl.

Tuesday afternoon Lisa went to clean the water trough in the Hilltop pasture, only an hour after I had checked the ewes up there, and found Olive, one of our Corriedales, with twins! Black and white, both girls. There was a theme developing here, we are having a girl-storm!

That evening I had a MALT board meeting, and returned from the meeting at 10 pm to check with Lisa, who was on her first evening shift.The barn was quiet, although Tap the Romney had been laying all day in an alarming “dead-ewe” pose, on her side with all legs sticking straight out, like Snagglepus used to do at lambing. She seemed tight as a tick and really uncomfortable. But no obvious labor, so I sent Lisa home. I went home, put away groceries and was getting ready for bed a little after 11 when I checked the camera and Tap was in labor. I got to the barn at 11:30 just as Tap’s first lamb was born, a recessive-colored boy. He was vigorous, but the birth fluids were really dark and it seemed the lambs had been stressed in utero.

Two hours later Tap delivered a girl who was a bit weak, but breathed and nursed and seemed to perk up. Then a third lamb that I could not keep breathing. So sad. I got Tap and her lambs set up in a jug and made sure both had good drinks, left a note for Melinda and got home around 3:30.

Melinda had another early-morning surprise: Neva, another of our Romnesians, with a white girl born just before 5 am. All the Romnesians have had easy deliveries and have been great mothers.

I slept in and was just getting ready to get up to the barn when I looked at the camera and saw Melinda and Lolo working really hard on a delivery. It was Taylor, the first of our East Friesians to deliver, so of course it was a drama. Triplets, all tangled up. The first presented with a head and no feet, and Melinda had to push it back in to the uterus to get it out. The lamb turned out to be dead, probably why it hadn’t aligned correctly and may have been holding up the show. The second lamb was feet first, a big boy, and the third was a big girl. Taylor, a first-time mother, seemed to take the difficult delivery right in stride, and loved those lambs. Mitt the Romney is the father, so more Romnesians for our flock. Thank goodness one is a ram, since I want to save some Romnesian rams for breeding.

Taylor with her lambs: check out that "dairy ewe" udder!

Yesterday Melinda went up to feed lunch to the pregnant ewes and found Bronwen, another of our Romnesians, with a broken water bag. We got her into the barn and Melinda went to get lunch while I monitored her. She delivered a big recessive-colored girl all on her own and loved that girl to bits, while she continued to labor. The labor was hard, but she was so distracted by loving that lamb, she scarcely seemed to notice. Within an hour, this first-time mother, and not a very big ewe, had delivered her second, a HUGE white girl weighing 14 pounds!

Bronwen with her first lamb
Bronwen's second lamb: "Help! I'm trapped in this birth canal and I can't get out!"

We rounded out the day yesterday with Rose Gold who gave birth to a recessive-colored girl outside on the grass in the late afternoon, providing a newborn lamb for Melinda’s friend April’s visit.

At this point 12 of our 23 ewes have lambed and we have 21 lambs, 16 of which are girls! We’ve never had a girl-storm like this, and it will give us a great opportunity to make the best selections for growing our flock with our new fiber breeds and crosses.

Taylor with her lambs
Ruth with her lamb

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