56 Lambs and Counting...

  • Farmgirl
  • 3/15/2015 12:00:00 AM
  • 0 Comments
  • View Count 991
56 Lambs and Counting...

Since we moved our clocks forward Mother Nature has been kind enough to turn up the thermostat so we can all discard a layer or two of clothing when heading out to the barn.  Puddles pool in the ruts left from the tractor or truck and the ground beneath our feet feels like a soggy sponge.  I cannot imagine working in the garden anytime soon without sinking up to my ankles so for now I will stick to planting seedlings inside.


 I've been conversing by text with a friend who is spending a month in Phoenix, Arizona visiting her grandchildren.  I was asking when she would return home and in her reply she asked how things were going at the "Feller Ranch".  Just to be clear there is no "ranch".  Our small farm of 13 acres is home to several sheep, laying hens, two llamas, a horse, a few barn cats and one highly intelligent Border Collie.  Only two of us humans, running this operation with one serving as a midwife to the sheep and the other working off the farm to support "The Farm".


I responded to my friend with "I just pulled two lambs" as we begin the next round of lambing, "Only 18 more to go!" I can hear her laugh and say, "The things you do!" Truthfully, this was not an easy pull.  Let's just say this first time mother did not want any help but clearly...the lamb was stalling. 


First, I had to corner the ewe, then as I began pulling the two legs out I realized they were back legs. The lamb was breach... so I need to be quick about this.  Unfortunately, the ewe manages to get away from me, this is not a good image to imagine.  Quickly, I cornered her again and began pulling the lamb out which appeared as limp as a wet fish. I spun it around to clear the fluids from it's lungs, tickled it's nose trying to conjure a sneeze and rubbed it vigorously. 


After a few tense minutes, it sputtered and opened one eye.  By now the ewe is hiding in a group and showed no interest in the lamb.  I leave to get a towel to dry the lamb with and when I return it appears the ewe will soon have a second lamb.  I managed to get her penned and pull a second lamb and like a light switch flipping this ewe decided to take an interest in her lambs.  She begins bleating to them softly as she licks them dry.  I strip her teats and iodine their navels then head back to the house.  All in a days work.

***

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