lambing season...

Monday, June 20, 2011

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!)



Smilie girl said...

Thanks for a very interesting read. Good to hear of your successes. I do feel for the poor ewe with mastitis but am glad she made a good recovery.
Enjoy all your wooly babies.

Mum-me said...

The lambs are just adorable, but so is your beautiful daughter! Hope you're all feeling better soon.

Linda said...

Wow, those pics are like revisiting my childhood!

Cassandra said...

Oohh your lambs are so cute ! Lots of work but so worth it !
I wish I could come visit , I bring my team of lamb feeders lol !
I cannot wait until we have lambs but at the moment it seems we have nothing but tragedy.( posting about it later) Oh well it can only get better right ?
I hope you guys feel better soon ( did you get my email ?)
Cassandra xx

Skipper said...

Oh how wonderful!! I love lambs. They are adorable little things. I hope your family all soon are on the mend and fighting fit with mega strong immunity for the rest of winter.

PS I LOVE the Anne of Green Gables Music!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I am impressed you had (and took) time to fill us in on all the happenings. Thank you.
I've known friends who send out an email just before lambing that says unable to be reached for at least 2 months, unless you care to join us and pitch in.
It sounds as if things are going well. I hope it continues.

Wishing you all feel healthier soon.

Marsel said...

How exciting! (We love Shaun the Sheep, too!)

Ana Degenaar said...

Too cute for words!

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Oh, the poor dear with the mastitis... :( But isn't it amazing how quickly they can recover.
What a busy time for you, but - as you say - your lifestyle really is a gift from God. I hope all goes well with the rest of the season :)

Rachel~At the Butterfly Ball said...

Hi Renata! What a wonderful thing to have all of those sheep survive lambing season! I've never had sheep myself but know several people who do, and they have said it's not uncommon to loose several lambs and even a couple of ewes at that time. What a blessing!

I so enjoy reading about your farm life when you have a chance to post. Someday...we plan to find a bigger place so we can do/have more like what you've got there. Good to "see" you again! Hope everyone is feeling better soon!

Jenn said...

I love sheep - I used to help my uncle with lambing when I was in college. You have some beautiful babies!
Visiting from the Barn Hop.

Unknown said...

How exciting to have so many lambs! Busy times for certain! They are so precious... we have a farm nearby that raises sheep and every spring we take a drive annually to see sweet babies. We're all excited around here just waiting for one baby (from the cow), I can't imagine how thrilled your children must be to have all of those lambs around.

I hope you're all in top shape again soon- I'm sorry to hear that you've all been feeling so poorly!

Alana Jo said...

Adorable babies!

The poor momma with mastitis looked horrible. I am glad you caught her and she is ok now.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Gosh, Renata! You are having quite the baby boom there! They are so dang cute,... very cuddle worthy, for sure!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

SOO cute!!! Enjoy!!!!!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

SOO cute!!! Enjoy!!!!!

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

SOO cute!!! Enjoy!!!!!

Unknown said...

You have been busy! That Mastitis really did make me cringe! I know how awful it feels!

Anonymous said...

This post makes me so happy! I'm so glad ya'll were able to save the little ones that you didn't think would make it! It sounds like ya'll are doing an excellent job for this being your first big season! We just recently moved out to the country too, although nowhere near the amount of space you have! And we got our first chickens last weekend! I cannot tell you how excited we are to begin our own farm!! :o)

Much love,
Sarah Kate

Christy said...

Hey Renata,
hope you are all over your winter colds/flus...urgghh we've had our share too! All those lambs look so cute - hope you are keeping up with all those feeds!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon! oh and I'll post what's been happening for me lately....let's just say you better make sure you cover up you and your children's heads come summer!!
C xo

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