Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lambing has begun.

We have eight ewes with babies on the ground, a few singles, mostly twins. Right now they're all jugged up but they'll be moving back out to the pasture soon. Not much cuter than baby lambs.

We only have one bummer lamb so far. It's a sad situation. Meet the players in this mini-drama.

Granny. She had her babies two weeks early, and it appears that had they lived she would have been an amazing mother. She is 'granny-ing' (attempting to steal so as to mother them herself) any babies born.

Hapless Ewe and Second Son. First ewe to give birth after Granny did. After her first baby hit the ground, Granny moved in and by the time her second baby was born, she'd forgotten all about the first baby who quite clearly did not belong to her anymore.

First Son. Claimed by a momma who isn't lactating but whose hormones still tell her she needs a baby. Denied by his biological momma who has enough milk but doesn't recognize him as her own.

The Granny is now separated from the rest of the pregnant ewes and is in with my goats. That pen butts up against the shed where the lambing jugs are, and she spends most of her time (as in the picture of her above) walking up and down that wall trying to talk one of the lambs inside into being her baby. It's heartbreaking.

"Cutie" is now bottle-fed since it was becoming dangerous to him to try to get him to reconnect with his mother. We also couldn't leave him with Granny and bottle-feed him to the side because she was so protective.

So we have a wonderful mother with no babies, a healthy mom of twins that will only take one of her babies, and a healthy baby who would be thriving on momma but is being bottle-fed. He'll do fine, but any livestock owner will tell you that a babe is better off with a good momma than on the bottle.

The girls do enjoy having a bum lamb. We have seven ewes left to lamb out. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.


Cindy said...

That is so interesting, and sad at the same time. I'm sure those girls will make sure the lamb is well loved!

Christy said...

Bottle lambs are fun though. Poor Granny.