Lambing began yesterday: Melinda arrived in the barn at 5 am to find that Brown Betty, a first-time mother, had delivered triplets in the night. The camera recording showed that the first lamb born, a little black girl, didn’t get the attention she needed, as Betty had been busy delivering the others. The girl didn’t make it, but the two boys are doing well. My cousin Linda arrived Sunday afternoon from Idaho, but she didn’t have any time to get settled! She came first to the barn, where Long Tall Sally was in the process of delivering triplets. Linda and Lisa presided over the delivery while I went home to start dinner. All seemed quiet in the barn at the midnight check, but later we learned from the barn’s surveillance camera that a drama had begun to unfold not long after I made that check: Beata went into labor and began delivering lambs. She didn’t get up after the first two were born, and they would have died, if not for the intervention of Lolita, who just happened to have picked her campsite for the night right behind Beata. Those first two lambs were born literally under Lolita’s nose, and Lolita rose to the occasion, loving those two lambs as if they were her own. She not only licked them off, but even let them nurse from her! Several of the pens where we put mothers with their new lambs, (known as jugs), had doors that hadn’t been properly latched. Lolita managed to spirit away those first two of Beata’s lambs and get herself and the two lambs into a jug. Meanwhile, Beata continued with her labor and delivered two more lambs, which she loved and cleaned off. Beata seemed to believe that she only had twins. Crazily, she also found a pen with an unlatched gate, and got herself and the second two lambs into that jug. Melinda had quite a situation to figure out when she arrived at 5 am, but she played back the camera recordings and carefully pieced together the story. Lisa had created a cute sign suggesting that each ewe sign up for what time she was going to lamb, whether she needed help, and how many lambs she planned to have. Melinda transcribed Lolita’s response, including the fact that Lolita was willing to adopt. But Lolita didn’t have to adopt: she had triplets of her own later in the day, right on schedule according to her response to Lisa’s survey.
Long Tall Sally with one of her lambs
Beata's quads

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