Archive for February 21, 2008

Here we go again…..

After two (or is it three now?) nights of pulling the ol’ ewe to her feet so that the lamb could nurse, she is finally able to rise without assistance.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that her milk supply has dwindled even more, something to be expected when she hasn’t eaten and has been drinking minimally for the last couple of days.   However, she has been picking at her hay and deigned to eat a few alfalfa pellets and sipped her water, so I can only hope that once she starts eating again, the milk will start to flow.  Otherwise, I’ve got enough goat’s milk to keep us going until the milk replacer arrives next week.  If lamb would take the bottle, that is, which he has so far refused.  I’m going to have to get a little more firm about that as soon as I can….

However, a young first lambing ewe is in the process of “pushing” right now.  After every push, she gets up and searches for the lamb.  She is pretty wild, so I can’t get near her to check the progress.  And of course it is raining….

How bad is it raining?  I walked out to the barn to check her progress in dry blue jeans and hooded sweatshirt and baseball cap.  Halfway there, I was soaked completely through the sweatshirt, T-shirt underneath, and water was running down my legs inside the blue jeans and into the rubber boots I was wearing, and I was starting to wonder if I’d get hit by lightning in February.  The rain gauge says we have gotten 7 inches of rain here at our place, and there’s about 6 inches of water standing in parts of the pasture.

I need to go to the pharmacy to pick up some medication for ol’ SwampMan (did I mention the flu season?), so I better go check the ewe again and wait to change into dry clothes until that’s done. 

10:15 p.m.

After the young wild ewe had a large ewe lamb and was cleaning it carefully, I went to the pharmacy.  They looked at me a little strangely.  I was wondering why, because I had changed into dry clothes before I left, but I looked at my jacket, covered with hay, and realized that I also reeked of lambing fluid from when I had checked the health and sex of the newborn lamb.  My dry(ish) baseball cap covered hair that was dripping water.  Yep, jus’ livin’ la vida loca.   

So, I finally got home and prepared the bottle but first, walked out to the expectant mom’s barn to check the ewe with her newborn ewe lamb.  There are now two newborn ewe lambs  and new momma is circling around like crazy trying to keep watch over both of them, and is consequently not letting them nurse.  *sigh*  I felt confident enough to leave new momma and one lamb in the general population, but not an anxious new mother with twins.   Damn.  The sheltered area where I have the lambing pens set up in is now underwater; only the sick ewe’s pen is above water and just barely at that.  Hoooo, boy. 

Then when I tried to bottle feed ram lamb, Dolly sniffed the nipple suspiciously, then latched onto it and started sucking.  I bought her as a weanling; apparently she had been bottle fed some 13 or 14 years ago.  Well.  I had better luck bottle feeding momma than lamb, but I did manage to get maybe an ounce into him, and I’ll try again in an hour or so, and probably about 2 a.m.  After I build some new lamb pens to keep momma and babies together safely.  Dang.  I need to be up and getting ready for work in @ 7 hours, but I’m trying to wait until the present cloudburst ends.  

Did I mention that the fire ants were also seeking higher ground which at this point in time was me?  And that they didn’t appear particularly grateful about it?

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