We are right smack, dab in the middle of our first lambing season here at Sunnyside!
The maternity ward a week ago - there are a whole lot more babies now!
It seems the weeks are getting away from me as more & more "babies" are added to our nursery here at Sunnyside. Thankfully we haven't had too many troubles and so far we only have four poddy lambs here up at the house! The older ewes are wonderful mothers & we have been blessed with an abundance of twin births - we even had triplets & yes, they all survived. It is lovely having "babies" around to cuddle & love upon - even if they are of the four legged variety. We have only had one middle of the night feeding required which I am thankful for!
Meet "Princess" (can you guess which of my children named her??) She was a triplet. Since a ewe cannot provide enough for triplets, we had to remove the weakest lamb - we are so happy to say that not only is she thriving on her bottle feeds, but she is getting fat! She has been with us over a week now & thinks she is one of the kids - if I let her she would come into the house & follow them everywhere.
Our next poddy was "Shaun" - yes he will become "Shaun the sheep" - very popular in our family! Shaun was one of twins who's mother was down when we came across her in our daily checks (you must check lambing ewes at least once a day - although twice is best). We bought her up to the yards & remembered an 'old farmers tale' which said that when the ewe is down after lambing, turn her onto her other side. Well we tried this & since I really thought she wasn't going to survive, I grabbed her lambs & made them drink & drink & drink off her (poddy lambs have a much higher survival rate if
they have had colostrum after birth). Well you can imagine my surprise when I went down to try & get her up (our friend had advised me to try & walk - even just to pull her up myself & try & get her to stand for as long as possible), I turned her onto her tummy to get her up & all of a sudden up she jumped! I was so pleased as ewes are rather heavy & I didn't know how I would be able to lift her (but you can be sure I was going to try)! Well after she ran around the yard a few times getting some feeling back into her legs, she was right to feed her lambs. For some reason she really didn't seem to bond with the male lamb & a couple of days later we found him wondering around by himself very hungry, so we bought him up to the house & he is going well & has been wonderful company for our lonely Princess!
The next two are "Floppsy & Moppsy" - twins. Dave found them very sick & very cold down in the paddock & truthfully I would have left them there (hardhearted aren't I). I have never seen a lamb that cold or that weak survive. Well we gave them some antibiotics & some food & put them in front of a very warm heater & you can imagine our amazement when instead of finding two very dead lambs ( I really thought it would be a matter of hours) they recovered & by evening were running around with the other lambs and drinking a full feed!
Yesterday morning we were all too sick to go to church ( we have had a terrible winter for sickness - we have all had the flu again & didn't want to infect our lovely church family) however we still had the farm jobs to take care of. Thankfully we were home because one of the mother ewes had a nasty case of mastitis (doesn't the picture just make you cringe). We were able to bring her & her very hungry baby back to the yards where we had to restrain her & milk her! This poor mama looked so very sore & her teats were so big her lamb couldn't attach, so after we had milked enough we fed the lamb some of the milk in a bottle. By the time we had finished milking her we had reduced the teat size so the lamb could attach properly. We were pleased that by evening when we went back to milk again, the whole udder was a whole lot less red & by this morning it had reduced right back to normal size & we were able to release her & baby back to the flock!
This is our first mass lambing (having previously had a few pets here & there drop lambs, but never a whole flock). As with any new farming endeavour, we are finding it a busy, learning experience, but we are loving it as well! We are so blessed to be able to have this type of lifestyle & we thank God for it!
Joining Amy for:
I hope you have a wonderful week - mine will be full of milk, bottles, baaing & babies (not to mention a whole lot of school work as we head to our half way mark for the year & a much anticipated visit from a sister (who will be taught the art of bottle feeding lambies very quickly!)